Paul Ryan hosts town hall meeting near Green Bay

VP Biden also coming to Wisconsin Thursday
Paul Ryan hosts town hall meeting near Green Bay

Paul Ryan is spending plenty of time in his native Wisconsin since joining the Republican ticket as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Ryan hosted a town hall meeting on Wednesday near Green Bay, a part of the state that tends to lean Republican but that voted for President Barack Obama in 2008.

Three hours before the event, people bought campaign buttons and lined up early to get a good seat.

“We got here right after we dropped the kids off at school, about a quarter to 9 (a.m.),” said Jen Parmar, of Green Bay.

Gov. Scott Walker told a crowd of 1,200 at the event that it was up to them to get Romney and Ryan elected.

Walker, who fired up the crowd for the main event, said the state hasn’t voted for a Republican ticket since he was in high school.

“It’s pretty nice to have a cheesehead on the ticket, isn’t it?” Walker said.

Most of that conversation at the town hall centered on the economy and the federal deficit.

“Look at our poverty rates, look at our fiscal crisis. That’s giving uncertainty to businesses. We can do better than this,” Ryan said.

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Ryan said the U.S. also needed to needed to promote peace in the Middle East through its strength. He said the president hasn’t done well on any of that.

“It’s not too late to get the country back by reclaiming the principles that built this country, that gets America free; that gets the economy going; that gives people hope; that get people back to work; that gets us back to prosperity and jobs and opportunity,” Ryan said.

Hundreds of supporters seemed to agree with the economic message.

“If you got jobs and people paying taxes, that’s going to help with our deficit and help our problems,” said one Ryan supporter at the event.

“We need change, and this is our version of hope and change right here,” Parmar said.

Some of Ryan’s constituents in the 1st Wisconsin District were also in Green Bay, protesting Ryan’s policies. They voiced their opposition and cheered and chanted. They said Ryan’s congressional district won’t benefit from giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

Romney is making a stronger play for Wisconsin since selecting Ryan, a Janesville native, as his running mate. Polls before the pick showed Obama with a lead, but the most recent ones done in mid-August show the race is nearly even. 

Ryan’s visit is sandwiched in between two by Democratic Vice President Joe Biden. He was also in Green Bay last week and planned to host a rally at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Thursday.