Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate U.S. Rep Paul Ryan promised to turn the nation around during a rally that drew thousands to the Waukesha Expo Center tonight.
Ryan, his voice hoarse from a long stretch of campaigning, took the stage to loud cheers.
"It is good to be back in Wisconsin. I love Wisconsin," Ryan said. "This is such a phenomenal place to live, work and raise your family."
Ryan said that in Wisconsin, Republicans put forth ideas, implemented them and solved the problems in Madison, and that after a divisive recall election, voters said "keep doing it."
"On June 5th courage was on the ballot and courage won," Ryan said. "We saved Wisconsin that day. On Nov. 6, we will save America that day."
Ryan said that Obama offered hope when he was elected and was able to get his agenda passed. That, he said, left America with a health care system about to be taken over, economic stagnation, the slowest recovery in 70 years and the highest poverty rate in generations.
"We're not going to take that," Ryan said. "We're going to turn this thing around. We can do this."
He pointed to other problems facing America, and pointed out that former Gov. Tommy Thompson reshaped welfare in America, a reform he said Obama is reversing.
"If this president is going to do these kinds of things in a very difficult, tough election year, imagine what he would do if he never had to face voters again," Ryan said. "You know what, we're not going to find out."
Romney said he picked Ryan for his running mate because he wanted a "real leader" who is "going to help get America strong."
Romney said that during Ryan's career in politics he has become someone who is seen as an intellectual leader and who is respected in Washington.
"As vice president, he is someone who will be respected across the nation and across the world," Romney said.
As Romney spoke, a protester interrupted him, only to be drowned out with chants of "USA, USA, USA!"
"You better find a different place to be disruptive," Romney said, "because here we believe in listening to people with dignity and respect."
Romney went on to criticize Obama's campaign, saying it is the "lowest, meanest ... campaign in America."
"Mr. President, take your campaign out of the gutter," Romney said. "Let's talk about the real issues America faces."
Romney said he will turn America around by taking advantage of the country's energy resources, making sure children have the skills they need to succeed, putting "work back into welfare," seeking new markets for American goods while holding countries that cheat accountable and championing small businesses.
"This country is going to come roaring back," he said to cheers.
He went after Obama for his comments about the role of government in creating the conditions and infrastructure for business to succeed -- the comments in which he said that if you own a business "you didn't build that."
He said that while Obama complains his comment was taken out of context, that "the context was worse than the quote."
He quipped that while a bus driver plays a role in getting a child to school, he doesn't get to take credit for that child making the honor roll.
"We celebrate that achievement; you made that happen," he said. "If he gets the honor role, he gets the credit, not the bus driver."