FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla.—At his only event of the day Monday after the other two were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, Paul Ryan began his rally in this storm-prone state asking the crowd of about 2,000 to send their “prayers and our thoughts to the people in the Northeast.”
“Look, Floridians, you are no stranger to big storms,” Ryan said, wearing his red North Face jacket on a windy day here. “You know better than anyone on the need for communities to come together and for neighbors to help one another.”
Ryan was introduced by former congressman and current Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam and the GOP vice presidential nominee noted Putnam told him how this state is already helping those currently feeling Sandy’s wrath. “As we were driving over here, Adam was telling me about the hundreds of Floridians, about the hundreds of utilities crews that left just today from Florida to go to the Northeast,” Ryan said. “Thank God for men and women like that. Thank you for sending your people. That’s what we do for each other in this country.”
Five of Ryan’s events have been cancelled in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, two in Florida Monday and three in Colorado Tuesday. In total between Ryan, Romney, and Ann Romney the campaign has been forced to scrap 15 events, not just because some were in areas that are affected, but to be cautious not to look too political when millions of Americans are in the dangerous storm’s path up and down the Eastern seaboard.
The president was also forced to cancel events, returning to Washington DC earlier today instead of campaigning in Florida. In total between the two campaigns 32 events were either changed or cancelled.
Instead of campaigning Monday and Tuesday, Ryan will now travel home to Janesville, Wisconsin this afternoon.
As his running mate did earlier today, he urged the crowd to donate to the Red Cross asking them to “take a look at the Red Cross website” when they get home from the event. “Think about donating to the Red Cross,” Ryan said. “We know how to help each other in this country. If you have friends and family in the path of the storm, make sure you call them. Make sure they listen to the warnings, make sure they check on their elderly neighbors.”
He said he and Romney “are staying in touch with regional leaders” impacted by the storm.
“We are offering assistance, we are collecting storm relief supplies in our field offices in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, up and down the Eastern Seaboard,” Ryan said.
Mitt Romney has been in touch with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, both Republicans and friends of Romney.
“Here at home, people are packaging supplies at our victory centers throughout Florida,” Ryan said. “Swing by, give a hand, you know firsthand what people are going to need. And so, since we all love this country, lets put our neighbors in the north in our prayers. Lets do what we need to do to help them get through…what is coming in their way – and lets not forget the fact that this is the greatest country on the face of the earth.”
At the end of his short event he again thanked those gathered for “supporting the people in the Northeast who need our help, who need our prayers, who need our donations.”
He also reminded the audience to vote early, which began in this state two days ago “so that you can help get people to the polls, so you can help the save your country.”
Ryan’s event wasn’t without politics though, he reminded voters in this critical battleground state that there is only eight more days until Election Day. “Mitt Romney and I can endure anything for eight more days, but we can’t take four more years,” Ryan said. “We can turn this around, we can do this, it is not too late to put our country on the right path, it is not too late to put the right reforms in place for a real recovery…in eight days each of us can look back at this moment as the time we stood, up, we fought for our country, we did what we needed to do to secure it for our current generation and our children’s generation.”
A new CNN/ORC Florida poll out Monday shows Obama and Romney within the margin of error in the Sunshine State with Romney at 50 percent and Obama with 49 percent.