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Saturday, October 20, 2012

 4:28 PM 

GOP leaders rally supporters with vote early bus tour

WAUKESHA - To carry Wisconsin in the presidential election, RNC Chair Reince Priebus and state GOP Chair Brad Courtney told supporters Saturday Republicans need to run up the score in Waukesha County.

Priebus cast the election as a battle for freedom. The former Wisconsin GOP chair also criticized President Barack Obama for being “in love with the sound of his own voice, but he can’t, he’s not in love with following through with promises.”

“This president, this Democrat, he’s not your daddy’s Democrat. And the newsflash is, Europe doesn’t work in Europe and it’s not going to work here, in the United States of America,” Priebus said.

He added that Obama has divided America and is not the person he said he was in 2008.

“This may be harsh to say, but I think this president has a problem with the American dream,” Priebus said.

Priebus and Courtney were joined at the event, billed as the “Wisconsin Commit to Mitt Early Vote Bus Tour” by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and Janna Ryan, the wife of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

The stop at the Waukesha County GOP offices was fourth of six planned stops Saturday. The tour also made stops in Kenosha, Racine, and Franklin. After Waukesha it was scheduled to go on to Elkhorn and Janesville with more stops planned Sunday.

Janna Ryan didn’t address the crowd for long, but thanked supporters for their prayers and support.

She told reporters it has been a “whirlwind” since her husband was chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

“It’s been fun, it’s been overwhelming in some ways, in the sense that our life turned upside down very, very quickly,” she said, adding that the couple’s children have been able to maintain their regular school schedule in Janesville.

Johnson praised Priebus for his hard work and also made a pitch to the Republican supporters in attendance to support GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson

“Please, please, don’t let me wake up on November 7 and say ‘Who’s my junior senator?’ It’s got to be Tommy Thompson,” Johnson said.

He also said Romney’s decision to shut down Bain Capital temporarily to help a partner in the firm look for his missing 14-year old daughter was more than what he probably would have done as a business man and showed real leadership.

“What Mitt Romney did was extraordinary,” Johnson said.

Courtney told supporters they needed to replicate the success Republicans had in the gubernatorial recall election. He noted the polls in that race had shown a close race and the party’s ground game carried Gov. Scott Walker to victory.

He also encouraged supporters to participate in early voting.

“Go vote early so that you can come back on Election Day. We need your help,” Courtney said.

Johnson asked the crowd to remember how close the 2000 presidential election was in Florida.

“This year, it just might come down to the state of Wisconsin, the county of Waukesha, the city of Waukesha, the individuals that you talk to in your business, your friends, your neighbors. It might come down to that,” Johnson said.

He said supporters should not pay attention to polls, pundits or what is happening in other states.

“Concentrate on what is happening in Wisconsin,” he said.

Asked if the presidential election will come down to the state of Ohio, Priebus told reporters the GOP is working hard in Ohio, but it is possible to win with or without the state.

“Wisconsin though, dream scenario, win Ohio and have Wisconsin take us over the finish line, that’s what we want,” Priebus told reporters.

-- By Arthur Thomas

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