UPDATE: Election 2012 — Rep. Paul Ryan Tells High-Energy Crowd in Des Moines They Have a 'Clear Choice'
The candidate for Vice President visited Des Moines Monday afternoon; VP Biden also in Burlington.
In front of a fired up crowd Monday afternoon, Rep. Paul Ryan told Iowans that this November is going to be a "generation-defining election."
"Iowans, just like Wisconsinites, could be the ones who determine the most important election of your generation," said Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate who hails from Janesville, WI. "You have a clear choice of two futures here.
"It's not too late to get this right," he said.
About 300 people gathered this afternoon at Embassy Suites in Des Moines to see Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate. The event was moved indoors due to rain.
"We could have used this rain a couple months ago," Ryan said to the crowd just after coming on stage.
Energy was high in the hotel ballroom, but most was positive toward Ryan. Police officers worked their way through the crowd, keeping their eyes on the crowd, but did not appear to be needed.
Just last month, Ryan was heckled at the Iowa State Fair where at least two individuals were escorted from the event by Iowa State Patrol officers.
Ryan was welcomed by several Iowa Republican political leaders, including Rep. Steve King and Tom Latham, as well as Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.
Ryan's speech lasted about 20 minutes, and the congressman mostly focused on the economy and job creation. He also stressed the importance of "reclaiming the country's founding principles."
"If we don't tackle these problems, they will tackle us," Ryan said. "Generations have always fixed its problems so the next one is better off. That is the American legacy."
Among those who attended the event was Jeff Brookes of Ankeny. He said he's concerned about national security and veteran's benefits.
"Millions of veterans return home nationally who need help," he said. "I'm here to support my brothers and sisters in the armed forces."
Outside the hotel was "Lyin' Ryan," 20-year-old Ethan Kelly of New York, a volunteer with Progress Iowa. He was dressed as a lion to get people to recognize Ryan's "lies."
"This election is very important, and it's the first I'm allowed to vote in," he said. "It's important we get Obama re-elected because he is doing everything he can for students and young people"
Despite Iowa's relatively paultry six electoral votes, it could swing the November election and has been visited by both campaigns numerous times over the summer.
VP Joe Biden in Burlington
While Ryan was in Des Moines, Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to be in Burlington.
Biden was to be introduced by a worker from Champion Spark Plug, according to The Register. The campaign is using the 55-year-old Burlington company’s story to argue that the American auto industry fared better with strong government intervention and government money, and that Obama’s actions restored Chrysler and General Motors to health.
If Chrysler had gone under, the Burlington company would have lost one-third or more of its business, translating into job losses, campaign aides say. Instead, Champion has created 100 more jobs, and added General Motors to its client list, according to the Obama campaign.
Biden was also to challenge Romney and Ryan on Medicare, the paper quoted campaign aides as saying.
On Tuesday morning, Biden will be in Ottumwa in Wapello County and then in Grinnell, a college town in the swing county of Poweshiek.