Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Wednesday said that he fully supports Ohio's anti-union law after hedging on the issue just a day before while visiting a call center where Republicans were drumming up support to affirm the law through a voter referendum.
While in Virginia on Wednesday, the former Massachusetts governor said that he had refused to take a position on the other voter referendums appearing on the Election Day ballot, affirming his support for Gov. John Kasich's law, which cracks down unions' ability to bargain and forces members to pay more for benefits.
I'm sorry if I created any confusion in that regard, Romney said Wednesday. I know there are other ballot questions in Ohio and I wasn't taking a position on those.
Romney: 110 Percent Behind Kasich
With regard to... the collect bargaining question, I am 110 percent behind Gov. Kasich, Romney added.
Romney's GOP presidential rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry seemed unaware of that distinction. After Romney's remarks were reported by CNN, Perry released a statement saying that he backs Kasich and the anti-union law, known as SB5.
You don't have to wonder where I stand, Perry said in a statement to CNN.
A Romney spokeswoman defended his reluctance to take a position, saying that states should decide important policy matters.
In addition to the ballot question on SB5, Ohioans will vote on adding an amendment to the state's constitution aimed at blocking the Affordable Care Act's health insurance mandate.
I, of course, took my state in one direction. They may want to go in a different direction. I don't want to tell them what they ought to do in that regard. That's up to them, Romney said. It's with regard to that issue that I didn't want to make a commitment.
Kasich, a first-term Republican, has said that the law curbing unions is necessary to fix the state's fiscal problems and make Ohio more business-friendly. A poll released Tuesday shows that the law is headed for repeal, as Ohio voters oppose the measure 57 percent to 32 percent.