ROCHESTER, Minn.-In Mitt Romney's home state, Paul Ryan held a rally in front of a large crowd Monday, tailoring his remarks for the Michigan audience comparing job losses in his home state of Wisconsin to the auto industry's struggles here.
"We lost four auto factories in the area I represent in just the last four years," Ryan said. "We lost our plant, our GM plant in Janesville, our Chrysler Kenosha plant, we lost two Delphi plants in Oak Creek. Trust me, I come from Detroit West. We know we need a healthy auto sector. I come from a GM town, and as we said in Janesville, we've always said - as GM goes, so goes Janesville."
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"Well, we've all gotten knocked down. We've seen some carnage in the auto sector. Know this: we want the strongest auto sector…We lost 38,000 manufacturing jobs just in the last two months. Over 10,000 of them came from auto. The good news is if you put the right people in place and get the right policies in place, we can turn this around."
At a fundraiser earlier Monday in Pontiac, Mich., he first made comments about the auto industry and thanked the donors who paid between $1,000 and $50,000 for "helping" to "communicate this to our fellow Michiganders and Wisconsinites."
The Obama campaign sent out an aggressive response to Ryan's comments saying the "American people have come to expect stunning dishonesty from Congressman Ryan and Mitt Romney, but the truth is their policies would be devastating for middle class families."
"Ryan told supporters that Romney knows we need a strong auto industry, but Romney would have just 'let Detroit go bankrupt," Obama spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement, referring to the controversial op-ed Mitt Romney wrote for the New York Times in November, 2008 where he called for the Michigan auto industry to go through a "structured bankruptcy."
The GOP vice presidential nominee told reporters Monday he thinks his ticket will take the state adding. "I think we got a really good chance."
However, polls have the president leading in the state and one sign the Romney campaign is not taking Michigan seriously is so far they are not running any television advertising in the state.
The House Budget chairman also unveiled a new line today aiming to still hit the president on the economy, but changing his language to accommodate the new jobs report released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday that showed unemployment dropping from 7.8 percent from about 8.1 percent. It's was the lowest unemployment rate since the month the president took office.
"The president said if only we borrow about $831 billion and spend it on all his friends and cronies and special interests in Washington it would create all these jobs, that unemployment would never even get to 8 percent," Ryan told several thousand at Oakland University here. "Well it was above it for 43 months. He said that the economy would be growing at 4 percent this year. Well now its growing at 1.3 percent. The economy is growing slower this year than it grew last year and last year it was slower than the year before."
Ryan heads to Florida late Monday for another intense day and a half of debate prep before he faces off against Joe Biden Thursday in the only vice presidential debate, hosted by ABC's Martha Raddatz.