Gibbs, a grain and cattle farmer, said his decision to abandon Trump came down to the president’s agricultural policies and trade wars, which Gibbs contends have closed foreign markets, drastically lowered prices and forced farmers to “become a ward of the state under the Trump administration.”
For retired Army Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich, the decision to support Biden centered on the president’s embrace of leaders such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Trump’s reported comments that Americans who died in service to their country were “losers” and “suckers.”
Top administration officials have said they never heard Trump make such remarks.
Ohio has long been more than a battleground state for presidential candidates. The Buckeye State has been known as a “must win” for those hoping to call the White House home. But Trump’s 8-percentage-point victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 left many political observers wondering whether those days were over.
“That isn’t the gap now,” said former Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heimlich. “We’re only talking about a small number of voters who have to change to be able to elect Joe Biden.”
And that’s where Operation Grant will focus. The organization plans to reach out to “reasonable Republicans,” center-right voters and right-leaning unaffiliated voters in the hopes of convincing them that voting for Biden is the “the patriotic thing to do.”
“We believe that relatively small number, that small percentage, can make the difference,” Heimlich said.
Perhaps the best-known Ohio Republican opposing Trump, former Gov. John Kasich, wasn’t at the press conference but has close ties with the Lincoln Project, which includes his top political adviser.
To email Operation Grant for Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org