LAKEWOOD—Paul Ryan received a resounding welcome Tuesday from a packed crowd at Lakewood High School as he promoted the Republican ticket’s plan to turn around the economy.
At his first campaign stop in Colorado since getting the vice presidential nod, the Wisconsin congressman laid out an economic recovery plan that calls for energy independence, balancing the budget and cutting the deficit.
“The Romney-Ryan plan for a stronger middle class is designed to get people back to work; it’s designed to create jobs,” Ryan told the crowd of about 2,000 enthusiastic supporters. “If we get this economy going like we know we can, we can create 12 million jobs in four years.”
Ryan led off by talking about energy, a hot-button issue in Colorado, which depends heavily on the oil, coal and natural gas industries. He advocated for energy independence through increased utilization of domestic energy sources.
“We have our own oil and gas, we have nuclear, we have all of the above—wind, solar, coal—let’s use it,” Ryan said. “We will open up these resources so that we can create jobs here, and you know what, we will approve the Keystone Pipeline.”
The rally looked like a who’s-who of Jefferson County Republicans, featuring former Rep. Bob Beauprez, congressional candidate Joe Coors, state Senate candidate Lang Sias and state Rep. Ken Summers.
Sias, who is running for state Senate in District 19, took part in introducing Ryan.
“Paul Ryan would make a great vice president because he’s running for the right reasons: he’s passionate about service and he’s passionate about America,” Sias said. “October 11, folks, mark your calendar. No, it’s not a Broncos game, but you’ll get to see some defenses shredded because that’s the evening that Paul Ryan will take on Joe Biden.”
Meanwhile, 2,000 miles away in Virginia, Democratic Vice President Joe Biden was also making headlines, but for very different reasons. Speaking before a predominantly black crowd in Danville, Biden implied that Republicans want to resurrect slavery.
“Romney wants to, he said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks again write their own rules—‘unchain Wall St.,’” Biden said. “They’re going to put ya’ll back in chains.”
The Obama campaign refused to apologize for the statement.
“We have no problem with those comments,” Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told MSNBC. “[Obama] probably agrees with Joe Biden’s sentiments. He’s using a metaphor to talk about what’s going to happen.”
The Romney campaign issued a statement calling for President Obama to address Biden’s remarks.
“The comments made by the vice president of the United States are not acceptable in our political discourse and demonstrate yet again that the Obama campaign will say and do anything to win this election,” said Andrea Saul, Romney’s spokeswoman. “President Obama should tell the American people whether he agrees with Joe Biden’s comments.”
Even before Biden’s comments, the contrast between the two vice presidential candidates was already clear to Jefferson County Republicans.
“There’s another thing important to remember about Paul Ryan,” said Beauprez. “He ain’t Joe Biden.”