SABINA, Ohio — GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, with his three young children and wife, Janna, along, urged votes for presidential nominee Mitt Romney on a bus tour that took him along two-lane highways from fracking country in eastern Ohio, through Zanesville, Circleville, and Yellow Springs, to this rural community east of Dayton on Saturday.
Along the way, Mr. Ryan served up politically charged rhetoric to voters interested in local coal, natural gas, and oil production and had a sit-down with ex-Delphi Corp. retirees whose situation Republicans highlight as the problem with President Obama’s 2009 auto-industry rescue.
“The President likes to go around talking about how he saved the auto industry, how the auto bailout was such a success. He hasn’t talked to these Ohio Delphi salaried employees because this is one of those examples of the government picking winners and losers. All they want is transparency and fairness in government and they’re not getting that,” Mr. Ryan said to a crowd filling the gym at East Clinton High School here.
Delphi, which supplied almost all of GM’s parts at one time, had several factories in the Dayton area and at least one in Janesville, Wis., Congressman Ryan’s hometown. The nonunion, salaried workers of Delphi complain they were cut out of the $80 billion bailout while United Auto Workers employees’ pensions were protected.
With Mr. Ryan and his wife were children Sam, Charlie, and Liza. They traveled in a large bus emblazoned with a Romney-Ryan campaign sign. In each town, people came out of their houses and waved. In one instance, a woman turned her thumb down as the long motorcade lumbered by, and pro-Obama signs were sometimes seen.
Today, Mr. Ryan and Mitt Romney will meet in Findlay for a rally to start at 4:30 p.m., after Mr. Romney’s plans for a rally in Virginia were canceled as a safety measure in the face of an approaching hurricane.
The presidential and vice presidential candidates are barely leaving Ohio untouched for a single day as the national election zeroes in on Ohio’s 18 electoral votes.
The rally in Findlay will be at the University of Findlay's Koehler Athletic Complex, 1000 N. Main St. Doors open at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Findlay Victory Center, 404 S. Main St., or by visiting www.mittromney.com/states/OH.
Mr. Ryan told a crowd of several hundred at Zanesville High School that Mr. Romney’s plan would emphasize domestic energy, and he would have approved the XL Keystone pipeline from Canada to Texas, for which a permit was denied by the Obama Administration.
“He tried to get a new national energy tax on all our energy consumption,” Mr. Ryan said, referring to the “cap-and-trade” bill that would have put restrictions on pollution emissions at power plants and factories that burn coal.
Muskingum County, where Zanesville is located, sits atop the gas and oil-rich Utica Shale formation that is now accessible to drilling by way of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Mr. Ryan said, “We know if the President gets re-elected, he’ll keep regulating coal out of existence.”
On the contrary, Mr. Obama says, “clean coal” is part of his “all-of-the-above” plan for energy independence, and that coal jobs have increased 11.5 percent in Ohio in 2012 compared with mining employment in 2008.
The Obama campaign said it is the Romney tax plan that will deepen the nation’s deficit.
“Paul Ryan tried to pull the wool over the eyes of people in Zanesville today by peddling the failed Romney-Ryan agenda, which would result in higher taxes for middle-class families to pay for $250,000 tax cuts for multimillionaires, deep cuts to investments in education and energy that we need to grow our economy, and turning Medicare into a voucher program,” Obama Ohio spokesman Jessica Kershaw said.
Mr. Ryan warned that the rising national debt will be an economic burden for the next generation.
“We’ve got to balance the budget. We have an obligation. Just remember, today’s deficits are nothing more than tomorrow’s tax increase,” Mr. Ryan said. Pointing to the children in the room, he said, “We know we are giving them a diminished future. We have never done that in this country before.”
He was introduced at Zanesville by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who sought to balance his proud description of Ohio as the No. 4 job creator in the country with the more dire national poverty statistics cited by Mr. Ryan.
Mr. Ryan started the day in New Philadelphia, about 60 miles south of Akron.
Mr. Romney will join Mr. Ryan at rallies in Celina and Marion today as well as in Findlay. Mr. Romney also is to address rallies in the Cleveland area on Monday and Elida and Dayton on Tuesday, interspersed with campaign trips to Wisconsin and Virginia.
President Obama is to rally with former President Clinton in Youngstown on Monday, while Vice President Joe Biden is to campaign in Wooster and Gambier, Ohio, on Tuesday. President Obama will return to Ohio Wednesday for rallies in Cincinnati and Akron.
Contact Tom Troy at: email@example.com or 419-724-6058.