Ryan Lays Out Economic Plan During Stop in Adel
ADEL, Iowa — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan played up his Midwestern roots as he slammed President Barack Obama on health care and economic policy in Adel Wednesday morning.
It was the second day of a two-day tour of Iowa for Ryan, who spoke from a platform set up on the Dallas County courthouse square and asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” The crowd of roughly 750 responded with a loud “no.”
It’s a theme that’s been emphasized in the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan campaign since last week’s convention Tampa. Indeed, Ryan gave his 20-minute speech standing in front of a banner that mimics the style and font of the Obama campaign signs but asks, “Are you better off?” It even hijacks the Obama sunrise “o” for the letter “o” in off.
Ryan gave an overview of an economic plan that included increased domestic energy production, fewer small business regulations, increased worker retraining programs, less government spending and increased domestic food production and manufacturing.
“I come from southern Wisconsin, it’s corn and soybean country,” Ryan said. “We need to grow more food, we need to make more things and sell them to other countries.”
Carolyn Williams, whose family runs a painting contracting business in New Virginia, thinks Ryan’s Midwestern roots are an important factor.
“I think it’s part of who he is,” said Williams, who added she couldn’t remember the last time she voted for a Democrat. “I think he is a good addition to the (presidential) ticket.”
Ryan repeated some of the jabs thrown at the Obama administration during last week’s convention, including criticizing the president for “weakening welfare reform requirements.” The claim brought a swift rebuke from Democrats.
“In Iowa, Congressman Ryan repeated Mitt Romney’s welfare lie but couldn’t say how they’d create a single job now. While the congressman has proven his willingness to ignore the truth, even he should know that President Clinton has joined with every independent fact checker, news organization and a Republican architect of welfare reform in calling the welfare attack blatantly false,” Danny Kanner, a spokesman for the Obama campaign said in an email sent shortly after Ryan’s speech concluded.
Bill Even, an Adel resident who works for a seed company and raises corn, soybeans and cattle with his brother in South Dakota, said both parties engage in exaggerations and positioning.
“You have to take everything with a grain of salt,” Even said, adding he’s a “big supporter” of the Romney/Ryan ticket.
“I think they have the right view on small businesses,” he said. “Not less regulations necessarily, but smarter regulations. That’s important to me.”
With one arm around his 12-year-old daughter, Jill, and the other holding a Romney/Ryan placard, Even got a little chocked up by the whole scene.
“This is really quintessentially American, isn’t it?” he said. “Here in the town square, on a beautiful morning listening to someone ask for my vote. It’s great.”
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