A heated college football rivalry has worked its way into the U.S. Senate race in Ohio between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and former Rep. Rob Portman.
Fisher, trailing in the polls, has aired a new ad suggesting Buckeye state voters might want to think twice about voting for Republican Portman because he attended law school at the the University of Michigan -- a hated rival of Ohio State University in Columbus.
Fisher, wearing an Ohio State sweater and cradling a football with high school stadium as a backdrop, blames Portman for policies during his service in the Bush administration that led to the current economic slump. Portman, a Cincinnatian who also graduated from Dartmouth, was President George W. Bush's budget director and U.S. trade representative.
"Oh and one more thing," Democratic candidate Fisher says, "Rob Portman went to the University of Michigan... Buckeyes deserve better than someone from that school up north. Fisher borrowed the phrase -- school up north -- from the late Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes, who could not bring himself to utter the word, "Michigan."
Ironically, Fisher was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., but his family moved to Ohio when he was young and he graduated from Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve Law School. A Portman spokeswoman fired back: "Ann Arbor native Lee Fisher is desperate to change the topic from the 400,000 jobs lost under his watch in the last three years. Maybe he's forgotten hat Rob's been teaching at The Ohio State University for the last three years..."
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