• WisPolitics

Monday, November 5, 2012

 11:57 PM 

Ryan calls Tuesday a generation-defining election

MILWAUKEE -- Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told supporters in Milwaukee tonight that the country faces a moment that will define its trajectory for generations.

Future generations will look back at the election as a moment when America found itself, he said.

"It doesn't matter what generation you come from, this is the most important election in our generation," Ryan said.

Ryan spoke to a large crowd of supporters at a Sterling Aviation airport hanger at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. The doors of the hanger were open, forcing supporters to bundle up as cool November air poured in.

The evening was filled with speeches by top Wisconsin Republicans as the GOP worked to rally supporters to turn out to the polls. The banners in the hangar promised "Victory in Wisconsin" and "Real Change on Day One."

Ryan came to the stage after an introduction from Gov. Scott Walker. As Ryan approached the stage, the crowd was roaring and waving American flags. He gave them two thumbs up and gestured for them to go even louder. The stop came at the end of a day that saw Ryan make stops in Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, and Ohio. Despite the hectic schedule, Ryan was upbeat, reacting to audience members as they yelled out.

"I love you Paul," one man shouted.

"I love you too man," came the response.

Ryan criticized President Barack Obama for blaming others and ducking tough issues.

"Mitt Romney and I are going to run at our country's problems to solve our country's problems. That's what real leaders do," Ryan said, adding the Republican ticket will win offering real ideas and not vague platitudes and slogans.

"We're saying, here's what we believe in," Ryan said, citing liberty, freedom and free enterprise.

He said that he and Romney have been talking about their five-point plan so much that many in the audience could recite it from memory.

"Look, it's not rocket science," said Ryan, arguing that the country needs to develop its own energy sources and champion education reforms, allowing parents a choice about where their children attend school.

"And we've got to finally just stop spending money we do not have," he said.

Ryan said that what Obama offered in 2008 sounded good to a lot of people.

"A lot of our fellow Wisconsinites, they went for it, because it did sound good," said Ryan, before criticizing the president for unemployment being higher than when he took office and the poverty rate being the highest in a generation. He also said most college graduates cannot find a job when they graduate.

"Here's the good news, we don't have to settle for this and in one more day we can turn this thing around," Ryan said, prompting the crowd to chant "one more day," as it had often throughout the evening.

He also noted that Wisconsin is often taken for granted as a Democratic state, noting it hasn't voted for a Republican president since 1984.

"One more day," he said, again prompting chants from the crowd.

Ryan thanked supporters for their work for Republican candidates over the last two years, saying that there have been a lot of elections but there is one more left.

"We know how they work, and we know how to win them," he said.

As he gave a long list of thanks to supporters for their work, the crowd again grew louder and louder, almost drowning out Ryan's voice.

"Let's do this," he concluded.

Ryan's speech came at the end of a night that featured many of the highest profile Republicans in the state. Each expressed optimism the Badger State will turn red for the first time 28 years, citing Ryan and the GOP ground game developed in the recall elections of the last two years.

Gov. Scott Walker introduced Ryan to raucous cheers, but the night began with country music star Randy Owen, lead singer of Alabama. Before Owen and his band took the stage, Walker was set to do a TV interview and the crowd began to chant "one more day."

Speaking to the crowd ahead of Ryan, Walker said he is often asked why he continues to campaign after defeating the recall effort. He said the answer is his two sons, Matt and Alex.

"That's the reason we're working so hard," Walker said.

He also appealed directly to undecided voters that may have been watching on TV.

"Don't think about yourself," Walker said, saying those on the fence should consider their sons and daughters.

He also noted that the event for Ryan came exactly five months after Walker's recall win. He said that Wisconsinites sent a message then and they should send the same one on Election Day.

Before Walker introduced Ryan, RNC Chair Reince Priebus said the country was in a battle for freedom, the same one that had founded the country.

As the crowd chanted "one more day," Priebus responded "one more day, you bet."

He added that the election is a choice between two men of their word and a man of many words.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said he has a good feeling about Election Day and said Republicans are motivated. The Oshkosh Republican said the election is one of contrasts. He said the contrast in the U.S. Senate race is clear and also between the vice presidential candidates.

"Whoa, now there's a contrast," Johnson said of Ryan and VP Joe Biden.

He added that he is looking forward to welcoming Ryan back to Wisconsin as a vice president-elect. The statement drew chants of "U.S.A., U.S.A, U.S.A" from the crowd.

State Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, asked the crowd if Wisconsin would turn red on Election Day.

"We can do it, we can do this, she said, arguing that the polls no longer matter. Instead, the election will be about turnout and Darling expressed confidence in the GOP's ability to get voters to cast a ballot.

Ryan's brother Tobin thanked the crowd for all their support and prayers during the campaign. He said if the GOP can get just one additional vote in every precinct, the Romney/Ryan ticket will win Wisconsin.

Using a football analogy, Tobin Ryan said the game is in the fourth quarter, it has come down to the two-minute drill, with the game tied, "and we've got the ball."

-- By Arthur Thomas

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