He said Ohio now has the fewest number of government workers per capita in the
nation because of government cuts and efficiencies he's supported and the most small
business-friendly tax structure in the Midwest.
"Congressman, I've done what you and your party only talk about doing," Strickland said.
Kasich said Strickland's decision to suspend the final year of a planned income tax cut to balance the state budget qualifies as a tax increase.
He said Lehman Brothers hired him because of his creativity and ingenuity, offering him a six-figure salary despite his lack of investment banking experience.
"I think when they looked and saw that I was the chief architect of the balanced budget and that I did a lot of things in Congress, they thought I had the potential," he said.
Strickland accused Kasich of trading on his experience in Congress to get the job. He said Kasich spoke publicly as a lawmaker about his support for privatizing Social Security, a move that Wall Street interests favored.
Despite their rivalry, the two men exchanged a mid-debate handshake and insisted they personally like each other - then went back to their attacks.
Strickland said he and Kasich disagreed while in Congress over the North American Free Trade Agreement and other policies that led to American jobs - many of them in Ohio - being outsourced to other countries.
Strickland said he opposed those policies: "I'm not an outsourcer."
Kasich said 380,000 jobs have been lost in Ohio since Strickland took the helm and most of them haven't gone overseas but to other states.
Former President Bill Clinton stumped for Strickland in Cincinnati and Columbus on Tuesday and said that Ohioans are right to feel angry about the weak U.S. economy but shouldn't let that cloud their judgment when voting in November.
He put the blame for the economy on Republican policies before Strickland took
office in 2007 and said Strickland has laid the foundation for a recovery in Ohio with strong
economic development programs and deserves to be re-elected to a second term.
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September 14, 2010: Strickland, Kasich To Square Off In First Debate