President Donald Trump mentioned Ohio twice during a marathon post-election press conference at the White House Wednesday and praised Republicans for their victories in the state.
The final question during the more than two-hour session was about suburban women “rejecting” his message in Tuesday’s election, but Trump responded by touting his success in Ohio and his connection with voters there.
He cautioned reporters to look at history before making judgments on how Republicans lost the House but expanded their hold on the Senate.
“Midterm elections are disasters for sitting presidents. And look, you can write it any way you want,” he told reporters at a press conference that included plenty of fireworks. “This has been an incredibly successful one.”
In between his now-viral confrontation with CNN reporter Jim Acosta and another tough exchange with a PBS reporter whom he accused of asking “a racist question,” Trump held up Ohio for its sweeping success in beating back a well-funded Democratic opposition.
“How about Ohio? I didn’t even mention it. I mentioned Florida, I mentioned Georgia. How about the governor of Ohio,” Trump said.
Trump said the four most important governors’ races were those in Ohio, Georgia, Florida and Iowa, with victories in these states potentially setting the stage for a strong performance in 2020 in crucial battleground states.
“And If you look at those four governors’ races, crucial to 2020 and the presidential race, Florida, Iowa, Ohio and Georgia, the big ones,” he said. “You can’t get much more important than that. They were actually incredible campaigns.”
He referred to Mike DeWine as “a fantastic man, who was down in the polls.”
“And everybody was talking about this person who was so great,” Trump said, referring to DeWine’s opponent, Democrat Richard Cordray.
“And I went up there, and I did a rally. And they have now a great governor and will have a great governor for hopefully a long period of time. And Mike DeWine is a fantastic person, and I went up there for two reasons because I felt that his opposition was not a good person, and we know a lot about him, and I felt that like Mike was a fantastic person, and not only did he win, he won easily,” Trump continued.
DeWine won by a final margin of 50.7 percent to 46.4 percent, with about 182,000 more votes than Cordray.
In the end, Trump said Republicans won nine out of the 11 races nationwide in which he made personal appearances with the GOP candidate during the final weeks of the campaign.
The president used this time at the end of his press conference to show some love for Ohio Republicans, who came out in droves to support their candidates.
“I’ll tell you something, when you look at the races that we won, in Florida, which we weren’t expected to win; in Georgia, which we weren’t expected to win, and Ohio, which we weren’t expected to win, and when you look at some of them the numbers of votes that we got, it’s incredible. So I’m really happy, not only with the way that it came out, but your response to me as your president,” Trump said, though did later address his crumbling support from suburban women.
“One of the things they want so much is security. …both at the border, they want it with our military, they want it with law enforcement,” he said. “We’ve taken out thousands of MS-13 gang members, thousands, hard to believe, thousands out of our country. Women of our country, who are in our country, incredible people, they want security, they want safety. They want financial security, and we’ve done that, but they want physical security also. And we’ve taken out thousands of people that shouldn’t be in this country.”
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.