It’s one of the few campaign stops that was not cancelled today as Sandy bears down on the Northeast, and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan wanted to make sure it would count.
“Mitt Romney and I can endure anything for eight more days, but we cannot take four more years,” Ryan says.
Ryan knew the audience he was speaking to, with the main focus of the day on military spending, health care, hurricane prep and the economy. He, and the speakers introducing him, gave a bit of time to sending prayers to the Northeast where Sandy is now heading to land. Ryan says Floridians have an acute awareness of what a hurricane can do and, as such, should try to lend a hand however they can through donations or lending a helping hand.
Ryan then moved on to the pending military cuts, which he vows will not take place under a Romney/Ryan administration. He also renewed a call to protect Florida’s seniors, something he says would require appealing “Obamacare.”
The undoubted focus of this rally, however, was the economy.
“We’ve got to balance this budget, we’ve got to pay off this debt. That helps our economy today and that guarantees our kids and our grandkids have the future the kind that our parents fought for us,” Ryan says.
He says this is an election that defines this generation, pointing to the children in the crowd and calling for things to turn around for them.
“If all this borrowing and spending and taxing and money printing and regulating created growth and prosperity, we would’ve known by now,” he says.
That’s a message that sunk in with you.
“I have a son that’s in college and I hope that when he’s out of college he’ll have the opportunity to get a good job,” says Fernandina Beach resident Kathleen Minor.
Bob Hartig, of Fernandina Beach, told me a balanced budget needs to be a priority, and the Romney/Ryan ticket can make that happen.
“I don’t think it can get done in their term, but they can set the path,” he says.
It’s an issue that’s inspiring interest in people even too young to vote. 14-year-old Savannah Deetz, of Yulee, told me she has had an interest in politics for some time- but especially now.
“Worrying about what might happen in the future when I’m an adult, and not just me but like my kids in the future,” she says is a main reason she and her family support Ryan.
Minor brought her grandson, who was just a few years old, to the rally as well- actually pulling him out of the school so he could attend. Many families did the same, and were proud to, in an effort to get the next generation starting their support.