Lacking Romney, GOP Tour Rolls Into Janesville

Two Prominent Wisconsin Republicans Urge Volunteers On

Dozens of local Republican volunteers showed up to a Mitt Romney rally Sunday in downtown Janesville, although the presidential hopeful wasn’t there.

More than 100 volunteers from the Rock County field office listened to Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Paul Ryan, as the congressmen thanked supporters for a long year of political action.

“Wisconsin stood up for what we believed in, and we got our state back on track and saved Wisconsin on June 5,” said Ryan, of Janesville. “Wisconsin is going to save America on November 6.”

The two Republicans rolled into Janesville on a Romney campaign bus, after visiting Waukesha and Green Bay earlier in the day. Romney himself was overseas, talking to groups about foreign policy.

While Ryan attacked President Barack Obama’s record on job growth, state Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said the president’s policies have improved the economy.

“Democrats generally believe in growing the economy from the bottom up, trying to help middle class people to have more disposable income to put children through college and be able to remodel homes and buy new cars,” Barca said in Waukesha. “We believe that’s what has led to 22 straight months of job growth in America.”

Barca said he’s looking forward to the president’s next visit to Wisconsin, although he wouldn’t say when that could be.

A couple dozen protesters showed up at the Romney rally in Janesville to shout at the Republican crowd.

“I just say, that’s the look of ignorance over there,” said Laray Justina, a Romney supporter from Beloit. “If Romney doesn’t win this election, our country is done. There’s no two ways about it.”

Protesters at first succeeded in shouting over the sound system set up in the parking lot, but Janesville Police showed up and moved them off private property and toward the road.

“They can yell, they can (be) loud, they can shout,” Ryan said. “It is no substitute for the facts!”

Ryan told WISC-TV after the event he wouldn’t comment on a potential bid to become Romney’s running mate.

That decision will likely be made in the next month, before the Republican National Convention in late August.