“That’s OK that it was political, a campaign stop,” said Sonya Whaley, a self-described liberal from Cincinnati. “He needs to be campaigning now, not just putting people back to work.”
Ronn Rucker, a retired doctor and gay activist who lives in North Bend, Ohio, east of Cincinnati in Chabot’s district, agreed that the president should challenge his GOP counterparts.
“He sounded invigorated and ready to go,” he said. “McConnell and Boehner are just terrible representatives for the American public.”
But not everyone was as enthused by the president’s words.
Todd Singleton, who works at the concrete plant where Obama spoke underneath the bridge, drove in to watch the speech from his home in Amelia, Ohio, a town of roughly 3,000 people east of Cincinnati, in an area represented by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R).
Singleton, who said he votes for Republicans, said that plans to repair the bridge were under way before the president arrived and that the political tone of the speech made it difficult for him to trust the specifics.
The bridge “needed it long before this,” Singleton said. “But if it gets the ball rolling, I guess it’s a good thing.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.