- Published on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:45
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Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan made his final public campaign stop for the day at Fredericksburg Expo Center last Oct. 16, after spending most of the day in Virginia.
Dozens of vendors with Republican swag surrounded the estimated 3,000 attendees waiting in line selling buttons and other campaign materials.
The very country theme, with cowboy hats and Country music reverberated through the room as Country music singer Collin Raye entertained the crowd.
Lights dimmed and a video that was to play during the Republican National Convention played for several minutes.
Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves briefly spoke, saying “We are on a financial cliff and it will take leaders with a moral compass to fix that.”
Next, Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, took the stage calling Romney and Ryan “American’s comeback team,” as he energized the audience.
Finally, Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) of the first district of Virginia ascended onto the stage and energetically spoke of Ryan.
Wittman, who is up for re-election this against Democrat Adam Cook, spoke of “my friend” Paul Ryan and spoke of their time together hunting in Virginia.
Concluding his remarks, the energy level was high as Paul Ryan emerged from behind a blue curtain with his arms extended. He jogged up the stairs onto the podium, embraced Wittman, making a 360-degree turn for a photo-op of the two politicians together and Wittman left the stage.
“Good to see you Fredericksburg…let’s do this,” Ryan said enthusiastically. He thanked the band and invited dignitaries and began his speech, infrequently checking his notes.
“For my friends who are in Fredericksburg, thank you for what you are about to do,” he said, “which is elect Mitt Romney the next President of the United States.”
After the applause died down, Ryan said, “this is a beautiful area and I have spent some great memories here. Not only is Fredericksburg a place of great American history…you’ve got some great woods and some great streams here.”
Ryan spoke of his joy of hunting and fishing before pulling from his pocket what appeared to be an iPhone with a camouflage cover.
He continued, “Because this reminds me that in over a month, I get to take my daughter into the woods and we get to go deer hunting after we will have elected Mitt Romney the next President of the United States…that’s freedom!”
Ryan criticized President Obama throughout his remarks.
“You see the president can’t run on his record. He can’t run on his broken promises, and so as a result hope and change has become attack, defame, and blame, anger and frustration,” Ryan said.
Ryan touched on much of the same that his stump speeches have included—the differences between the Republican Party’s vision of America and the Democrats; the business acumen and proven leadership of Mitt Romney versus what Ryan called the failed leadership of Barack Obama.
Ryan, who spoke only two hours out from Gov. Mitt Romney’s debate against President Obama made no policy announcements nor did her generate any news.
Twenty-two minutes after he took the stage, Ryan ended his remarks, remaining for a few minutes to shake hands and take photos with a few small children and an infant.
Kiwi Heilman, a King George resident, attended the event with her son, John, and his friend Grant Winningham.
“With them being first time voters, I felt it was important for them to experience a political event and hear from Paul Ryan,” Heilman said.
Heilman said that from what she knows about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan that, “Romney has a more balanced approach.” She continued, “I get a sense that he wants to restore balance.”
Asked about the 47-percent comment heard around the world, Heilman said that the comment, which she said she had heard various components of, was being misunderstood and explained that she thought Romney was saying that, “people should be empowered more. I think he misspoke, and I also watched different clips from the past about him and I wasn’t sure about him, but the more I hear from him now, the more I trust his character.”
Grant Winningham, 17, said that he didn’t believe President Obama had completed any of his campaign promises and took issue with President Obama for saying “We Got Him,” when Osama bin Laden was killed.
“He’s got my vote,” Winningham said. “I think Obama is weak on foreign affairs and not good for small businesses.
John Heilman echoed Winningham, in agreeing that he believed President Obama was weak on foreign affairs. “He shows the country is weak,” he said.
“Obama just tries to take credit,” for bin Laden. Winningham said, “just because it happened while he was president doesn’t mean he gets to take the credit for it; the military got him, intelligence spent years tracking him—Obama wasn’t part of it. He wasn’t present when it happened.”
Winningham’s friend agreed and said about President Obama, “He wasn’t there risking his life—the SEALS were.”
“The reason we believe in this ticket is because what they are doing is uniting this country again,” Kiwi Heilman said. “I haven’t seen us so divided among so many racial lines, economic lines, and various other lines just in the thirty years of my life. So my hope is that we are united with the focus of getting the economy back on track.”