Nearly four years after National Gypsum shuttered its drywall plant in Lorain, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will reuse the facility on Henderson Drive as a backdrop for his message that President Barack Obama has failed to create jobs.
Romney's speech today will act as a rebuttal to remarks Obama delivered on Wednesday at Lorain County Community College, where the president praised the college's job-training efforts and claimed Republicans would cut such programs.
Republicans contend Obama has done almost nothing to create jobs.
"What we're saying is, he has been given three years to turn the economy around and bring back jobs," said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams. "He has had time and hundreds of billions of dollars to turn around the economy and he has not done that."
But should Obama be linked to the Lorain plant's demise?
City officials in Lorain question whether the drywall factory – which closed during the George W. Bush administration because of a construction industry slump -- could appropriately be used to illustrate that message.
"When you have to clean up a mess that was created over eight years, you will not get it done in four," said Lorain City Council President Joel Arredondo, a Democrat who attended Obama's Wednesday speech. "After four years, we are better off than we were before."
Unemployment in Ohio was 8.6 percent when Obama took office in January 2009, peaked at 10.6 percent from July 2009 to January 2010, and fell to 7.6 percent in February 2012.
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