Mitt Romney needed a running mate that would ignite the passion of conservatives in swing states like Iowa. Judging from the reaction Ryan received in tiny Adel Wednesday morning, Paul Ryan was the right choice. This city of only 3,864 residents had around ¼ of that number gathered in the town square to listen Ryan to speak. They were not disappointed.
“I really enjoyed his talk,” said Adel resident Eleanor Myers. “I like his ideas of bringing the country back to where it was when we followed the Constitution. He was a great choice for Romney and I look forward to them winning in November.”
Following speeches from a long line of surrogates that included Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Senator Chuck Grassley, Ryan took the stage to raucous applause from the assembled crowd. He fired a preemptive strike at former President Clinton’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, which took place 12 hours later.
“My guess is we’ll get a great rendition of how great things were in the 1990s,” Ryan said. “But we’re not going to hear much about how things have been the last four years. And by the way, under President Clinton, we got welfare reform, which moved people from welfare to work to get people out of poverty. President Obama is rolling back welfare reform.”
The Clinton administration served as the perfect foil for Ryan’s speech. After Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, Clinton was forced to govern as a moderate. Ryan used the Clinton era to bash Obama.
“The Medicare reform that Mitt Romney and I are proposing, the Medicare reform that guarantees the promise of Medicare for people in and near retirement, and saves it for the next generation, it’s an idea that came out of the Clinton commission to save Medicare,” he said.
Medicare was a topic Ryan visited repeatedly. He reasserted the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis that Obama swiped $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. He also cited a survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that revealed 75% of small business owners are much less likely to hire new workers because of Obamacare.
“Obamacare is the greatest threat to Medicare,” Ryan said. “Obamacare is a great threat to job creation and so for the sake of Medicare and the sake of creating jobs, we are going to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
The crowd roared with approval at that statement. Phyllis Detlefsen of Adel was among those applauding.
“I liked his energy,” Detlefsen said. “I like the fact that it sounds like a pretty no nonsense campaign as far as getting us back on track. I also like the idea of going back to the Constitution, going back to where we should be in stead of going off how far we’ve gone the last few years.”
Detlefsen said she leans Republican, but often votes as an independent. However, the Romney/Ryan ticket can count on her vote this November. Detlefsen also had some choice words for the Democrats who accuse Republicans of a “war on women”.
“I don’t agree with that,” she said. “I mean, really the abortion thing is a war on children. It’s a war on life. We’re funding murder and that’s wrong.”
Iowa will continue to be a hotbed of political activity this Friday. President Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden and their spouses will campaign in Iowa City. While they try to rouse the base in the state’s most liberal area, Mitt Romney will visit Orange City, in the conservative stronghold of Sioux County.
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