CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A week and a half before Election Day, Paul Ryan told voters in this critical battleground state they have two paths, urging supporters to bring former Barack Obama voters to the Romney campaign.
"We're going to look back at this moment as a time where America picked this path or that path, a growing economy with opportunity and upward mobility, or more stagnation and a debt crisis with more dependency," Ryan said Thursday evening at a rally in front of about 1,700 people.
Standing in front of a massive American flag hanging from a crane, with his sleeves rolled up, Ryan issued instructions to the faithful in the crowd:
"When you think about November 6, Election Day, think about a person who you know who liked the hope and the change in 2008, who was inspired by that, but who now knows it's empty," Ryan, standing next to a large "Victory in Virginia" sign, urged the crowd. "Because let's also think about November the 7th. Lets think about the next morning … about what we're going to see."
The rally was outside the Crutchfield Corporation, which makes car stereos and consumer electronics. The candidate continued, saying just as "this election is a mandate for us, President Obama will claim one for him."
"And that means since he's proposing nothing different, we will get nothing different," Ryan said, going back and forth with the crowd as they yelled, "No!" "So the question is, do we want to wake up on November the 7th and see that we have just four more years of the same? Do we want to wake up and think we're going to have to wait four more years? Or do we just want to wait two more weeks?"
Ryan, clearly fired up, then issued a rallying cry to those gathered, saying, "The choice is yours…. And boy, is it a clear choice."
This was the second of two events in Virginia for Ryan, and polls are deadlocked in this critical state with both candidates within the margin of error. The state had been reliably red until Obama won it in 2008, the first Democrat to do so in a presidential race since 1964 and the Romney campaign is aggressively trying to flip it back.
ABC News- Washington Post's most recent tracking poll released Thursday showed Romney with 50 percent support among likely voters nationally to 47 percent support for the president. The candidates are both within the margin of error, but this is the highest vote-preference result of the campaign for Romney to date.