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Mccain In Ohio

Interesting kerfuffle during his visit yesterday:

The day began with [Cincinnati] Enquirer readers in Butler County picking up copies of the paper's Hometown section and finding an ad paid for by the campaign committee of Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones, a Republican, challenging McCain to speak out on immigration - an issue that has come up infrequently on the campaign trail.

Jones has made a national reputation as a hard-liner on illegal immigrants and is opposed to plans such as the one supported by McCain and the Bush administration giving illegal aliens a path to citizenship.

"Are you avoiding this American issue?" the sheriff asked McCain in his newspaper ad. "We are all ears."

By early afternoon, the McCain campaign put out a statement in response to Jones raising an issue that they had not planned to put on the McCain agenda Thursday.

"John McCain will secure the borders first as president," campaign spokesman Paul Lindsay said. "But he also believes we need a comprehensive solution to the issue of illegal immigration."

That's not a change in position, though especially in a place like Ohio I might have expected McCain to emphasize the border-first part a little more and downplay the "comprehensiv" bit. But then I suppose there's no such thing as a strictly local message anymore.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's puffy front page headline today declares: "McCain vows to try to save Ohio jobs." (So much for that "the jobs... are not coming back" approach.)

--Michael Crowley