Capitalizing on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' all-star performance Sunday night, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a Waukesha crowd Monday that Americans can expect a similar game-changing performance from him and nominee Mitt Romney, if they are elected in three weeks.
Ryan, Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch all tapped into the Packers' 42-24 upset win over the Houston Texans during the morning rally.
Ryan did away with the typical stage and podium, and instead opted for a more personal town hall format. Roughly 1,500 people packed the cozy confines of the Van Male Field House. Ryan took six questions from random members of the audience – from a 13-year-old to a union laborer.
Walker received a raucous standing ovation as he entered the gym through an entrance adorned with the American flag. Walker survived a heated recall race, and fired up the crowd before introducing Ryan.
“A couple months ago when we turned on that TV. We knew then, even before he made the announcement he had what it took to be the president,” Walker said. “When he announced Ryan as his running mate, we also found out he had the courage and passion. America more than ever needs a comeback team, and we have a team with the skills and qualifications to get the job done.”
With the debt clock ticking in the background, it was clear that the economy would receive the lion’s share attention, and it did. Ryan opened with a presentation on the growing national debt, which was complete with graphics to illustrate his points.
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“Before Obama came into office, every man woman and child bore a $36,000 share of the national debt. Now every child born in this country is $51,000 in debt,” Ryan said. “We have to go to other nations to borrow money to pay for our government. We can’t keep doing this. We lose our sovereignty.”
Ryan once again outlined Romney’s five-point plan to kick start the economy. He touched upon his plan for Medicare reform, vowed to repeal Obamacare, and denounced Obama’s job-killing tax plan and policies.
“The president has been going around the country saying he has a plan,” Ryan said. “That’s the problem. The president gives lots of speeches, but he doesn’t put anything specific on the table.”
Ryan turned his attention on the voters for the second half of his appearance and fielded questions from the audience. Again, most were focused on his plan to fix the economy. A union laborer, who supports the Romney/Ryan ticket, asked what they would do for workers if elected.
Ryan responded by chiding Obama for job-killing policies he’s enacted over the past four years. He claimed Obama would raise the taxes businesses to roughly 40 percent, and make it difficult for workers to find gainful employment.
“This tax increase that he is talking about doesn’t even pay for 10 percent of his proposed spending increases,” Ryan said. “It’s really the businesses that create our jobs. It’s a million small businesses. This tax increase is expected to lose us 710,000 jobs.”
Ryan said he would keep the tax rate competitive with countries around the globe to keep investment in America. He also criticized Obama for opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, which he claimed would create tens of thousands of jobs.
Ryan promised a thriving economy to a 13-year-old boy in the audience who wanted to know if the United States’ financial circumstances would turn around.
“We can turn this around if we put the right ideas in place, and the right leaders in place.”
However, President Barack Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner issued a statement pegging blame for the struggling economy on Ryan.
“Congressman Ryan voted for the very policies that drove up our debt and deficits – two wars on the credit card, a new prescription drug benefit that wasn’t paid for, and massive tax cuts skewed toward millionaires and billionaires,” Kanner said. “Now, Mitt Romney and Congressman Ryan are proposing to increase defense spending by $2 trillion and have proposed $5 trillion in specific tax cuts, but refuse to provide any details about how they’d pay for it until after the election.”