DeWine addresses presidential debate, hate groups and election fairness

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday expressed his displeasure for how the first presidential debate went in Cleveland on Tuesday.

“The debate itself was certainly not our country’s finest hour,” DeWine said. “I hope that the next debate will focus on the future, vital issues on the decisions that the next president of the United States will have to make.”

Despite his sentiment on Thursday, Gov. DeWine said on Twitter that Trump did a “great job” at the debate.

“As you know, I support President Trump,” DeWine said. “The name calling by both candidates is simply not helpful. The name calling by both candidates is not productive.”

DeWine went on to say what he thinks needs to change before the second presidential debate.

“What is needed in the next debate is a robust, energetic debate on the challenges the next president will face,” DeWine said. “Each candidate has an obligation to articulate a vision for the future of this country.”

Also addressed by DeWine during Thursday’s coronavirus briefing was hate in America, which comes after Trump did not condemn white supremacists during Tuesday’s debate.

“White supremacists know only hate. Anti-Semites know only hate. And we could go on and on,” DeWine said. “It sickens me that there are people in our country who perpetrate this hate, violence and work to divide us. We cannot let these fringe groups of the right or left divide us.”

DeWine then turned his focus to the Ohio election process with just over 30 days left until the Nov. 3 election.

“We have a long, long history of running fair, transparent elections,” he said. “Because of this history and what we’ve done in the past and what we’re going to do in the future, Ohioans can be assured of a fair, orderly election this November.”

The governor also echoed the sentiments of Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose who said voting absentee by mail is “safe and secure.”

“In Ohio and in this country, elections are sacred,” DeWine said. “My committment to every Ohio voter is this: We will not tolerate any interference in this sacred process. We will, as we have done in the past, protect each citizens’ right to vote and to have their vote counted.”

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