SPARKS – Fresh on the heels of another disappointing jobs report, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a brief rally here today, telling a crowd of 2,500 at a local small business that President Obama needs to be replaced to get the country back on track.
“Are we going to stick with four more years of the same, of the same path? No,” Ryan said at the campaign event held at Peterbilt Truck Parts and Equipment. “Are we going to have a country in debt, in doubt, in decline? Or are we going to do what we need to do to get people back to work, to fix the mess in Washington and to get this country back on the right track.”
Paul Ryan fires up the crowd at a rally today in Sparks. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.
It was Ryan’s first visit to Northern Nevada as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Romney is expected back in Reno on Tuesday for a National Guard convention.
President Obama is slated to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans fight to win the battleground state in the Nov. 6 general election.
Ryan wasted no time in bringing up the jobs report released today by the U.S. Department of Labor that showed the country saw only 96,000 jobs created in August, well below the 125,000 gain expected by Wall Street. The unemployment rate declined to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent in July but the drop was attributed to more people giving up looking for work.
“Today, for every person that got a job, nearly four people stopped looking for a job; they gave up,” he said. “We can’t keep doing this. Our economy needs to create just 150,000 jobs every month just to keep up with the growth of our population.
“Friends, this is not an economic recovery; this is nowhere close to an economic recovery,” Ryan said. “We need a new president and we need a real economic recovery.”
Obama promised to keep unemployment below 8 percent with the stimulus package passed early on in his term, he said.
Instead, it’s been above 8 percent for 43 months and in Nevada it is 12 percent, Ryan said.
“It’s not working, and we have a plan to fix this,” he said.
In a statement from the White House on the report, Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said: “While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”
Ryan told the Sparks crowd that when Republicans win in November, the Romney-Ryan administration will move to immediately develop the country’s energy resources to create jobs, including building the Keystone pipeline, Ryan said.
The administration will also provide opportunities for those looking for work to learn new skills to find jobs and will seek to increase manufacturing and agricultural production, he said.
The administration will also work to bring spending under control and bring an end to deficit spending, Ryan said.
“We have got to get this budget under control or else we will wind up just like Europe,” he said. “If you practice European economics you will get European results.”
Finally, the administration will work to help small businesses succeed and create jobs, Ryan said.
Romney will bring a history of successful business experience to the White House, he said.
If Nevadans support the Republican ticket, “we will turn this thing around,” Ryan said.
Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., who is locked in a battle with U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., for the senate seat, used Ryan’s visit to criticize Heller for supporting his budget plan, which includes a proposed change to the Medicare system for younger Americans.
Ryan’s plan would keep Medicare in place for people 55 or older but change it for others by privatizing it and relying on government subsidies.
“The Heller-Ryan-Romney plan essentially ends Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies, and under the plan, seniors’ premiums would increase by nearly $6,400 and they would pay more in prescription drug costs,” Berkley said in a statement.
Heller welcomed Ryan to Nevada in a statement issued by his campaign.
“Paul Ryan is the vice presidential pick who can lead this country in a substantive discussion about the most pressing issues of the day,” he said. “When many in Washington wanted to play politics and preserve their own political ambitions, Paul Ryan faced head-on the enormous challenge of bringing our nation’s fiscal house in order. This conversation is long overdue, and I look forward to more of Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney’s leadership moving forward.”