“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.”
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.