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paul ryan campaigns in orlando florida Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan speaks to a crowd in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, September 22. (Photo courtesy Topanga Sena)

Election 2012: Ryan Brings Message to Space Coast

Republican VP nominee campaigns in Florida

By Topanga Sena | September 24 , 2012

ORLANDO, Florida — With only a few weeks left in the presidential election, Florida still remains in play. This is still considered a swing state, and both parties have spent a lot of time campaigning in the Sunshine State.

On Saturday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited the University of Central Florida in Orlando to address more than 2,000 supporters of all ages. The stage on which Ryan spoke sat beneath a banner that read "The Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class." Behind the banner stood an electronic ticker tracking the national debt in real time.

The focal point of Ryan's speech was the struggling American economy. But his focus seemed to turn towards Barack Obama's "dismantling of the space program over the last four years."

After being introduced by Mitt Romney's son Craig and retired former space shuttle astronaut Sid Gutierrez, Ryan vented the GOP's frustration with the current state of NASA.

"It's important that we have a space program that has a clear mission, a space program where we know where we are heading in the future, and a space program that is the unequivocal leader," Ryan asserted.

After blasting Obama on his handling of the space program, Ryan continued to blame the President for fostering a culture of dependency.

"I certainly don't believe in speaking to people in this country as if they're victims of circumstances that are beyond their control or stuck in their station in life," Ryan said. "When I was washing dishes, or working at McDonald's, or waiting tables, or mowing lawns, or painting houses, it never once occurred to me that I was stuck in some station in life or fixed in some class."

Ryan acknowledged that President Obama inherited a difficult situation. But he asserted that Obama didn't fix anything and we are not better off today than when Obama took office. Ryan called the economy recovery under Obama the "worst recovery since the Great Depression."

Ryan utilized the resources of a PowerPoint presentation with graphs to break down the problems with the economy and how the Romney-Ryan ticket will fix them.

Ryan ended his time by taking questions and comments from the crowd.

The first question came from a supporter from Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, who had stated that he had worked on two of Ryan's previous campaigns. Ryan was quick to point out that even though the supporter was from his hometown and worked on two of his last campaigns, that he was not a plant (someone put in the crowd by the Romney campaign).

The crowd's questions and comments ranged from expressing dissatisfaction of Obama's Administration to the current standings of economic policies' to health initiatives, calling Obamacare "the worst threat to Medicare."

ELECTION 2012

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