Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan made the case for a Romney-Ryan ticket before a crowd of about 2,000 at a Colorado Springs business Thursday.
While the Obama campaign takes a time-out from the campaign trail for the Democratic National Convention, the Romney campaign has wasted no time hitting the road to speak with voters in the all-important swing states. Ryan arrived in Colorado Springs Wednesday night, and spoke to an enthusiastic crowd Thursday morning at Westpac Restorations, an aircraft restoration and maintenance facility near the Colorado Springs Airport.
One of the Congressman's big focus Thursday was telling the crowd that Romney and Ryan's goal for the country is to "get it back on the right track".
Something Colorado Springs veteran Owen Perkins, who was in the crowd, says he couldn't agree with more.
"It means everything, this country is the most wonderful country and if anyone travels overseas they would know that this country is far above every other country in the world," said Perkins. He adds, "We just need to bring it back to what it has been. It’s been brought down by our present administration and present Democrats that are trying to run our country into socialism."
To the crowd, Ryan posed the choice between the two parties as a decision with severe ramifications for the next generation of Americans, portraying a second term for President Obama as destructive for the future of our nation.
"This is really a generation-defining moment," Ryan said. He says the problem is that politicians both past and current are more worried about the next election than the next generation.
"We basically have to decide whether we are going to stay on the current path we are on, a path of debt, a path of doubt, decline, or we are going to reapply our country’s founding principles and get us back on the right track and reignite the American idea for the American people?”
The focus of Ryan's campaign focuses on the question, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" When he asked the fired up crowd they screamed "no" Thursday. Both parties are focusing on Obama's first term in office.
Republicans are making the argument that the president has been a failure, while Democrats are hoping to convince voters that things have improved since the fall of 2008, when the recession was in full swing.
The congressman told the crowd that Obama is running out of ideas.
“That’s why his campaign has gone from 'hope and change' to 'attack and blame' to 'fear and frustration.'"
When talking to the crowd the VP hopeful told the thousands in attendance that America has not seen the hope and change Obama promised. Instead "hope that turned into despair," and the only changed we've seen is "unwelcome."
He criticized Obama's record by saying," We are not going to try to transform this country into something it was never meant to be."
Ryan went on to emphasize that the Republican ticket plans on restoring the principles of our founding fathers.
"Our rights come from nature and God and not from Government. That’s the American idea," said Ryan.
"I really like that they respect the founding of our country and the idea that all men are created equal, that they want to balance the budget and just restore those freedoms to everyone," said mother Julie Neilson who was in the crowd with her four children.
The rally Thursday came the morning after Democrats and former President Bill Clinton gave tribute to big government and how it can improve the lives of the poor during the Democratic National Convention.
Ryan instead told the crowd he wants to pay tribute to small businesses and renew the institution of free enterprise.
"There is no other system in the world that has done more to help the poor, that has done more to help people rise in life and reach opportunity and tap their potential, than the American system of freedom and free enterprise and we don’t to replace it, we want to renew it," said Ryan.
The Republican VP nominee also talked about winning the debate on Medicare. He focused a lot of attention on needing to balance the budget and reduce our nation's debt by cutting spending.
Ryan said instead of passing blame, the goal of their administration would be to take responsibility for the problems America faces, and fix the "problems in Washington."
He also emphasized several other goals such as creating jobs, increasing free enterprise opportunities, and championing small businesses, instead of demonizing them.
"Our objectives are very clear. We want growth, we want opportunity, we want upward mobility. We want this to be the land of the free where the only thing that limits you from reaching your destiny is your own God-given talents and own efforts; that’s what this country is all about," said Ryan.
With Colorado being one of just a handful of swing states, Ryan acknowledged the importance of Colorado voters, saying they have a "huge responsibility, but a tremendous opportunity.
Democrats held a press conference following Ryan's rally on Thursday. Small business owner Richard Skorman and Colorado Springs military veteran Tony Wolusky said they wanted to highlight how the Romney-Ryan agenda would gut investments in a strong middle class, hurt small businesses and undermine America’s commitment to veterans and military families.
According to a press release:
"While President Obama is fighting for an economy built to last, Romney and Ryan are committed to a flawed economic theory that says giving the wealthy more budget-busting tax breaks and placing greater burdens on the middle class, veterans and small business owners will somehow strengthen our economy."
KKTV 11 News will bring you their response to the rally. Keep visiting this page for updates.