Cathleen Allison / AP
Published Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 | 1:37 p.m.
Updated Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 | 3:44 p.m.
SPARKS — In a brief fly-in-and-fly-out campaign stop here Friday, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan promised he and Mitt Romney would wrest the White House away from a president who’s “really bad at creating jobs.”
Reprising his campaign stump speech, Ryan offered a broad five-point plan for creating jobs that included the general campaign themes of lowering taxes, protecting small businesses, exploiting natural resources and fostering manufacturing and agriculture.
“President Obama gave a big speech last night,” Ryan said, eliciting a string of boos from the crowd.
“President Obama’s not a bad guy,” he added, a line the crowd was in no mood to accept. “He’s just really bad at creating jobs.”
As evidence for that claim, Ryan referred to Friday’s jobs report that showed the economy added just 96,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, but only because American workers stopped looking for jobs.
“We learned today that for every person that got a job nearly four people stopped looking for a job,” Ryan said. “They just gave up. We can’t keep doing this.
“Friends this is not an economic recovery. This is nowhere close to an economic recovery. We need a new president and we need a real economic recovery.”
The Obama campaign fired back that Ryan continued his propensity to ignore or bend the facts to fit the context of his speech.
He blamed Obama for a credit downgrade that came about as a result of the gridlock in Congress and touted Romney with cutting spending as governor of Massachusetts even though spending increased by 22 percent, the Obama campaign said.
“There is one indisputable fact that Congressman Ryan can’t change,” Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said. “Mitt Romney’s policies of giving more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans paid for by the middle class, making deep cuts to critical investments like education, and turning Medicare into a voucher system would not take us forward—they’d take us back.”
Ryan's speech starts a busy week of presidential campaign visits to Nevada-- a key battleground state in the fight for the White House. Romney is scheduled to address the National Guard Association convention in Reno on Tuesday, while Obama will rally supporters in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Republicans used Ryan’s visit to Sparks to tout their down ticket candidates in Northern Nevada—giving Sen. Greg Brower and GOP assembly candidate David Espinosa a chance at the microphone.
U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, who has virtually no re-election battle this year, gave the crowd warm-up speech before Ryan took the stage. He introduced the Pledge of Allegiance as a “uniquely Republican thing.”
"We want to start with kind of a uniquely Republican thing, we want to start with the pledge of allegiance," Amodei said.
The quip set off a firestorm on Twitter, with many remarking on Rep. Gabby Giffords’ moving recitation of the pledge at the Democratic National Convention the night before. Giffords continues to recover from the brain injury she received when a gunman opened fire on her campaign rally two years ago.
“Well, you never know what Mark Amodei is going to say,” Brower said when asked about Amodei's remark.
In a brief interview later Friday afternoon, Amodei said his off the cuff comment was not meant to imply the Pledge of Allegiance was uniquely Republican, but that reciting it at the start of a campaign rally was unusual.
Ryan closed his speech with his typical call for support, promising the crowd his ticket would not only work to earn their vote but to “deserve victory.”
"This is what we are committing to you,” Ryan said. "We want to earn your vote this election. We want to deserve victory so we have the mandates and the moral authority to fix this mess. We are not going to duck these tough issues. We’re not going to kick the can down the road. We are going to get spending under control. We are going to get the economy growing and we are going to take responsibility.”