Host of The Discovery Channel's popular show "Dirty Jobs" and the new "How Booze Built America" Mike Rowe on Wednesday joined Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Ohio to participate in a panel discussion on jobs and manufacturing.
"Mike Rowe as you know is, well he is a guy that has made a name for himself by doing things other people don't want to do -- really ugly, dirty jobs," Romney said at the event featuring about a half dozen Ohio business owners and leaders. "Like standing with a politician, alright?"
Rowe joined Romney not to officially endorse the GOP candidate, as he has made quite clear, but to spread his message of the necessity of traditional, hands-on occupations.
"He's non partisan, he's not here to endorse me, he's not here to add support to one campaign or another," Romney added. "He's here to talk about his ideas about how to help America create more jobs."
The "Dirty Jobs" host talked about "the men and women who do the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us" and argued that the focus shouldn't be on just opportunity and training.
"The conversation needs to start in the kitchen, around the table with moms and dads and kids, and when these kids start to think about what's possible, mothers and fathers can't immediately push options off of the table because they've bought into the idea that some jobs are better than other jobs," he said.
"This gets right to a really, really, really, really big point that the things we used to consider to be inspirational -- jobs that we used to consider aspirational, education that we used to consider aspirational -- we now look at as alternative. I don't even know what alternative education means, alternative to what?" he asked.
Rowe then addressed the notion that one must attend an institution of higher learning in order to be successful and happy in the U.S.
"There's got to be a better way to be happy and successful in your career than simply assuming a massive amount of debt and exiting an educational program that gives you a degree without training," Rowe said.
Now we want to stress that Rowe did not join Romney to endorse him. He accepted Romney’s invitation because he interested in spreading his pro-traditional, manual labor message.
"I really believe," Rowe told Zap2it, "part of the reason that three million shovel-ready jobs entirely imploded is the fact that [President Barack Obama] was trying to sell that notion to a country that doesn't want to pick up a shovel."
Anyone who claims Rowe is somehow supporting Romney is engaging in "spin," as the TV personality puts it.
"In fact, I'm going to be as clear as I can -- this is the same message that I've been out there with for the last four years, same message I went to various states with,” he said, according to Zap2it, "It's the same message that got the whole 'Go Build...' campaign off the ground in Alabama."
Rowe added that he’d gladly join President Obama if it meant getting his message out.
"Look, if the president calls and says, 'Hey, I'm having a jobs summit,' I'll be there, if he wants to talk about a PR campaign for work. I'm not beyond taking advantage of a presidential election," he said.
"I've not heard from the White House. No, but standing by!"
The full story of how Rowe ended up on the same stage with Romney in Ohio is pretty entertaining and TheBlaze’s Meredith Jessup has been covering it since the beginning. Check it out.
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Front page photo courtesy discovery.com