Romney immediately drew criticism from both sides for not taking a position on either bill. Conservative bloggers slammed him and influential Tea Party-affiliated group Freedom Works blasted out several tweets, demanding: “Dear @MittRomney: Do you endorse union tyranny? Why won't you support Governor Kasich?”
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern called Romney a hypocrite in a conference call later on Tuesday. “Romney can’t take back his support of issue 2 simply because he read the results of the Quinnipiac poll this morning,” Redfern said. “Coming to Ohio makes it clear where he stands.”
Fifty-seven percent of Ohio voters support the repeal of the collective bargaining legislation, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday.
Labor issues have been a hot button topic in the campaign cycle so far, due to controversial GOP-backed bills to limit government union workers' bargaining power in states including Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as the high-profile Boeing dispute in South Carolina.
Romney took sides in South Carolina’s union battle earlier this year, backing aerospace giant Boeing in an August speech that focused on Romney’s proposed labor policy. Romney criticized the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in that speech. The NLRB, an independent federal agency, issued a complaint against Boeing in April for moving an expansion project to South Carolina after a union strike in Washington state.