Portman Expresses Optimism About GOP Prospects this Fall

Portman 9-23-14

WASHINGTON, DC – Ohio Senator Rob Portman appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday morning, delivering a speech in which he expressed optimism that Republicans will win control of the Senate in November, and said that the party has “the best slate of candidates that I have seen in modern times.”

“I think that there is a very good possibility that we will see a shift in the majority of the Senate,” the Ohio lawmaker stated.  “I am certainly not promising it.  But I think there is a very good possibility for one simple reason — we have taken the time to recruit the right people, and encouraged them to focus on the right issues.  We have done it differently this year.  I spent the first few months recruiting, and that has paid off.  We have great candidates around the country.  In fact, I think it is the best slate of candidates that I have seen in modern times.   And at the end of the day, I think you will see that the quality of candidates make the difference.  So I think there is a good shot.”

Portman currently serves as Vice Chairman of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  In this position, he has taken the lead in making sure GOP candidates are armed with the right resources going into the election.  He has also taken the lead in making sure the party’s candidates are armed with another critical asset this fall — the right ideas.

“The Ripon Forum has an article coming out in its next edition by David Winston,” he remarked.  “He makes a very simple point – that the Contract with America worked.  It worked in the sense that it created this opportunity for Republicans to say what they were for, not just what they were against.  But it also provided a framework for success once they got the majority.  In essence, I think that is the greatest challenge we face right now as a party.  I think we will do okay in these elections regardless – the die is set.  But I wish we had done more in terms of providing a Contract with America-type framework.”

Portman 9-23-14

To that end,Portman noted that he introduced a comprehensive plan earlier this year called Jobs for America.  The plan has seven key objectives, including:

Adopting Common Sense Health Care Solutions to Lower Costs, Increase Choices;    

  • Powering America’s Economy with an All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy;
  • Beginning to Live Within Our Means to Help the Economy Today and Lift the Burden on Future Generations;
  • Reforming the Tax Code to Spur Economic Growth;
  • Unburdening the Economy from Washington Regulations to Unshackle Job Creators;
  • Creating a Competitive Workforce to Close the Skills Gap; and,
  • Increasing Exports to Help U.S. Workers and Farmers Sell More, Create More American Jobs.

According to Portman, the Jobs for America plan is based on over four months of work and discussions that he and his staff have had with other GOP Senate offices on Capitol Hill.  “It is something that all 45 Republican senators have signed off on,” Portman emphasized, “from Ted Cruz to Susan Collins.”

Portman added that the plan has been shared with GOP Senate candidates around the country, many of whom are using it in their campaigns.

“I’m hopeful that when we move forward,” he remarked, “should we win the majority, that within the first 100 days, we have an agenda ready to go.  I’m working on that as we travel the country and talk to our candidates … I think it will come down to whether our candidates are for something.  If people look at them and say, ‘You know, as frustrated as I am with Washington and at both parties, this person sounds like he or she could get something done.’  I think that at the end of the day it’s going to be a deciding factor in these races.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.