GOP VP Candidate Paul Ryan Turns to Town Hall Meetings

VIDEO: The GOP VP nominee won?t outline what tax loopholes should be closed.
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With six weeks to go before Election Day, the campaign is entering the final sprint and Paul Ryan is returning to a way of campaigning that has worked for him in Wisconsin: the town hall meeting.

He's held over 500 in his home state, but before recently he had only done one just after being named Mitt Romney's running mate. He's done five since becoming the vice presidential nominee, including three in the last two weeks.

It's a free-wheeling format that even Romney generally avoids.

On Saturday at the University of Central Florida, Ryan unveiled a four slide Powerpoint presentation on the national debt, something he used again in Lima at the start of the GOP ticket's Ohio bus tour, telling the crowd, "This is the crisis that is on our doorstep, that we know about that President Obama sees these numbers, and not only is not doing anything to fix it, he is making it worse."

He scrolled through the slides, noting when he first brought them out that he's "kind of a Powerpoint guy."

It's far from the quick 20-minute pep talk he stuck to at rallies during his initial weeks on the campaign trail, but his background in policy and his reputation as less of a cheerleader and more of a policy wonk fits this format.

Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the question and answer format is something he enjoys and wants to do more of.

"I'm feeling my own way because it's my first national campaign to be in the middle of. And so I'm basically asserting my own preferences now, and I like it," Ryan told the newspaper's Craig Gilbert. "I'm learning how to do this. I'm learning how a national campaign works. So I spent a good bit of time doing rallies and events, and I got to realizing, that you know what, I want to do more town hall meetings. That's been my bread and butter in Congress. I really like that. It's more interactive. You get to actually communicate directly with people."

An aide to Ryan said it's "a format he likes and is comfortable with," adding "the entire campaign has been very supportive. We're finding the best venues and formats to help lay out the serious choice that the American people face in this election."

The same aide told ABC News that Ryan was "certainly involved" in the switch to a more town hall-heavy schedule and said that the campaign makes "decisions day by day on the best way to communicate -- there's no fixed formula."

Conservatives have been vocal that Ryan should be a more visible on the campaign trail. Though the more frequent town halls may not completely appease critics, it's clear Ryan enjoys them.

At the convention center in this northwestern Ohio town, a man stood up and told the GOP vice presidential nominee that he was a "great man" who was "going to make it up there," but he also shared a complaint: "We need a backbone in the Republican Party."

Ryan listened politely, nodding at times, before saying, "I couldn't agree with you more" three times to cheers.

"I am one of those guys who put these ideas out there when they weren't cool," Ryan said. "During the Bush administration, I mind you. Here is how you cut spending, here is how you reform these programs. Forget about the proverbial third rail in politics. We have got to take on these challenges before they tackle us."

It wasn't the only question posed by the Lima crowd that departed from more common topics like health care and gas prices.

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