EAU CLAIRE — Paul Ryan tried to press his home-state advantage Wednesday morning in what’s shaping up to be a close presidential race.
Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate from Janesville, spoke before a large and receptive audience at the Florian Gardens.
“We don’t care who gets credit. We just want to fix things,” said Ryan of the ticket led by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“On Day 1, we’re going to go in a different direction,” Ryan said. “So this Wednesday morning, think about next Wednesday morning.”
Ryan said when people wake up in one week, they will have elected a leader they know will put the country on the right track.
“On Day 1, we can start pointing us in the right direction,” he said.
Ryan said the country cannot continue on its path of adding debt. “It’s guaranteeing us we will have a diminished future.”
Ryan said over the past 60 years, 20 cents of every tax dollar went to pay for the federal government. By the time today’s children are Ryan’s age, that will go up to 40 cents for every tax dollar.
“We can’t keep going on the path we are going on,” Ryan said, adding that the president is calling for a tax rate as high as 44.8 percent.
Lynn and Fred Hayworth couldn’t wait to hear from Republican vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan on Wednesday morning.
The Fall Creek couple, who operate Hayworth Fence Co. in Eau Claire, said they support the Republican ticket of Romney and Ryan because of the Republicans’ pro-business stance.
“You grow the economy with a business-friendly environment,” Lynn Hayworth said.
She said one doesn’t grow the economy through the government.
She said business owners have uncertainty about the future. She said her company’s employees will work more overtime until there is a certainty about the cost of doing businsses.
“We’ve been treading water just to keep our heads above water,” she said, adding owners can’t set a strategy for a business by not knowing what tax rate will exist by the beginning of 2013.
Fred Hayworth took exception to Democrat President Barack Obama’s comment that businesses did not build their businesses alone. “He’s never built anything,” he said of the president.
Don Williams of Eleva was one of the first people in line to attend the speech. “I was here about 5:30 a.m.,” he said.
Williams said he wanted to hear Ryan’s intentions on the policies a Romney-Ryan administration would have.
Jeffrey and Deanielle Grochowski of Mondovi decided to volunteer because of their concerns over the economy.
Speakers before Ryan included state Rep. Tom Larson, R-Colfax, who is running for re-election in the 67th District.
Larson said that Ryan spoke at one of Larson’s fundraisers two years ago.
“He knows how to balance this budget, and that’s what we’ve got to get done,” said Larson, who is up for re-election Tuesday.
Republican Rep. Warren Petryk led the crowd in a rendition of “God Bless America.”
State Rep. Kathy Bernier, R-Lake Hallie, who is running for re-election in the 68th District, said the Romney-Ryan ticket will be on the path of fiscal responsibility.
“As we close in to Nov. 6, do not give up hope,” she said.
“There is something in the air. The wind is changing direction. The wind is blowing in change,” said state Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls. He said strong leadership is needed to make fundamental decisions.
“Our country needs some R and R. Not rest and relaxation, but Romney and Ryan,” Moulton said to cheers.
Rachel Duffy, the wife of 7th District U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy of Weston, was the opening speaker.