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Ohio House Speaker meets with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump

by Marc Kovac | Capital Bureau Chief Published: August 3, 2016 9:20 AM

Columbus -- The Speaker of the Ohio House met with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during his stop in Ohio's capital city Aug. 1.

Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) joined workers from the Piketon uranium enrichment plant to discuss the importance of the facility. Piketon is in Rosenberger's House district, and he has voiced disappointment with federal officials' decision to cut funding for the plant, which is no longer in operation.

"We now have no one in the United States doing enrichment for our uranium purposes for our nuclear Navy or other nuclear assets," Rosenberger told reporters Aug. 2. "It's a strategic issue. It's a national security issue. And that was the conversation we had [with Trump] yesterday."

Rosenberger offered the comments following a short summertime session of the Ohio House Aug. 2, prompted by the departure of two Republican members from northwest Ohio.

One, Rep. Tim Brown (R-Bowling Green), resigned his seat to become head of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. He was replaced Aug. 2 by Theresa Gavarone, an attorney, business owner and Bowling Green city councilwoman.

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Also, Rep. Barbara Sears (R-Toledo) left her seat in the general assembly to join Gov. John Kasich's administration, taking a position in the Office of Health Transformation. She was replaced by Derek Merrin, former Toledo-area mayor of Waterville.

After the session, Rosenberger was also asked about Trump's comments on Khizr Khan, a Muslim man who spoke at last week's Democratic National Convention and offered Trump a copy of the U.S. Constitution after describing how his Army Captain son died in a car bombing trying to save other troops.

Rosenberger, an Air Force veteran, offered, "Regardless of where you speak and what you're speaking about, a Gold Star family should be treated with respect and honor and upheld in that way. I think that [Khan's son] is a hero, I appreciate his service, I appreciate his family's service to our country."

That said, Rosenberger said Trump would do more to bolster the nation's military than his Democratic opponent.

"At the end of the day, Donald Trump is going to be in a better position to help our country from a strategic national security point than Hillary Clinton," he said. "/ If I'm an Airman and I make a mistake on top secret information, I'm getting in trouble. And, so, I have little respect for someone that takes and disregards national security as much as she does and think it's a big problem."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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