GOP group’s weekend confab causes Senate race skirmish

Americans for Prosperity’s weekend event in Columbus has sparked yet another battle in the race for the U.S. Senate.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who hopes to unseat Sen. Rob Portman in November 2016, released a web video announcing that he’ll protest the event – which Portman is scheduled to address – this weekend.

The group, which is bankrolled by GOP donors Charles and David Koch, is hosting five presidential candidates – former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Texas Gov. Rich Perry, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at its Defending the American Dream summit at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is not invited.

“When Rob Portman is sequestered this weekend behind closed doors with billionaires, I’m going to be out in the streets marching with the working people of Ohio as we protest the agenda of Sen. Rob Portman and the Koch brothers,” Strickland said in the video. “They want to buy Ohio, but we’re going to be saying that Ohio is not for sale.”

Portman’s campaign, meanwhile, will launch an online protest to Strickland’s protest, if you can follow that. It will say that instead of protesting the event, “they really should be protesting…their disastrous candidate for United States Senate.” The online protest urges readers to sign a petition “in protest of Gov. Strickland’s record.”

“It is clear that Gov. Strickland will do or say anything to distract from his awful record,” said Portman campaign manager Corry Bliss.

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