(Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan blasted President Barack Obama at a campaign event in North Carolina, and had a tearful homecoming in Wisconsin on Sunday.
"Here's the deal. The economy is not working as it should. President Obama four years ago came with so much promise, so much hope and so much change. And then when he got elected, he swept in his party as well," Rep. Ryan, who was announced Romney's running mate a day earlier, told the crowd at a rally on Sunday in Iredell County, N.C.
"Then they were able to pass their entire legislative agenda virtually," said Ryan, standing next to Romney. "So what we got was stimulus, Obamacare, a budget that doubled the debt in five years and tripled it in ten, takeover of all various industries."
Ryan reminded the audience that North Carolina's unemployment is at 9.4 percent today. "Since President Obama took office, 75,000 jobs lost in North Carolina, 435,000 people out of work in North Carolina." He then told the people of North Carolina, "We can do better than this. Help is on the way."
Romney told supporters he was "so happy! I am so happy to have my teammate now ... This is a guy with extraordinary character." The thousands broke into chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" as Romney spoke.
Romney also took Ryan home to a tearful welcome in Wisconsin on Sunday. Wisconsin Rep. Ryan had tears in his eyes and choked up as he appeared on stage with Romney before a crowd of around 8,000 in Waukesha while the theme song of the movie "Air Force One" played.
"I'm a Wisconsinite through and through," Ryan told the crowd. "My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, a little Spotted Cow ... and some Millers," he said jokingly. "I like to hunt here, I like to fish here, to snowmobile here. I even think ice fishing is interesting."
Romney told the crowd it was "a homecoming for a terrific guy ... I guess you think I made the right decision, the right choice? I know I did."
Romney also criticized the Obama campaign for a television ad that suggests Romney was partly responsible for the death of the wife of a steelworker who lost his job and health insurance when Bain Capital bought the company.
"There's no question but if you follow the campaign of Barack Obama, he's going to do everything in his power to make this the lowest, meanest negative campaign in history," Romney said. "We're not going to let that happen. This is going to be a campaign about ideas, about the future of America."
He called on Obama to "take your campaign out of the gutter. Let's talk about the real issues that America faces."
Obama commented on Ryan's selection for the first time during a fundraiser in Chicago on Sunday. "I know him, I welcome him to the race," the president said. "He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney's vision. But it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with."