RENO, Nev. – Rep. Paul Ryan began his final day on the campaign trail today with a stop here before he holds four other events, stopping in each of the time zones in the United States for his final push, calling the whirlwind sprint a “barn burner.”
“Are you going to help us win this thing, Nevada?” Ryan asked several hundred people in an airplane hangar. “We’re doing a barn burner today. We are crisscrossing the country, Mitt and I are, because we are asking you to work with us, to stand with us to get our country back on the right track.”
The GOP vice presidential nominee led the crowd in a chant of “one more day” and told Nevadans they are “in this together” and to keep pushing just a little bit longer.
“You’ve got to talk to your friends, you’ve got to talk to your neighbors and, even in this election, you have to talk to those distant relatives you haven’t talked to in a long time,” Ryan said with a smile. “Nevada, we are counting on you. … Let’s just run through the tape, let’s leave it all on the field.”
He said Nevada, with its six electoral votes, is one of a “handful of states” that are going to “figure this out.”
“So many Americans are looking to you, right here in Reno, right here in Nevada, and a handful of states like my own,” the Wisconsin congressman said. “And they’re looking to you to make sure that you cast your vote for actual real change. That you cast your vote to get us off this dangerous path that we are on and back on the right track.”
The Wisconsin congressman has kept up a break-neck pace in the past few days crisscrossing the country, holding four and five events in nine of the eleven states in contention; many of them in airplane hangars so he can jump off his plane and immediately back on after the rally.
In Reno, Ryan was joined by Mitt Romney’s youngest son, Craig Romney, at the rally here, as well as Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. In the audience as a spectator was multimillionaire former mutual fund manager and philanthropist and GOP donor Foster Friess. He flashed his signature beaming grin, although he was without his usual white cowboy hat, and said the Ryan rally was “great” and he’s “excited” about Tuesday.
Friess added that he had never met Ryan before. During the primary contest, Friess largely bankrolled Rick Santorum’s super PAC, and frequently accompanied him on campaign trail.
The president still leads in polling in this state with an advantage of 2 to 4 percentage points in most polls. Both campaigns and outside groups have dumped millions of dollars here in advertising. According to the National Journal ad tracker, the Obama campaign has spent more than $22 million here, while the Romney campaign has spent more than $12 million. Both campaigns have also spent days and days of precious trail time here: Ryan was just in Reno and Las Vegas Thursday, the same day the president was also in Vegas.
Ryan heads next to Loveland, Colo., before other events in Des Moines, Iowa, and Vienna, Ohio. He wraps it all up at a midnight rally in Milwaukee, Wis., both his home state and a critical battleground.
It has been a packed two and a half months for both Ryan and his young family, but his children still seemed to be enjoying it today when they hopped on the stage after their dad’s speech, along with Craig Romney’s son Parker.
Liza Ryan, 10, shouted in to the microphone, ”One more day,” as her younger brother, Sam, 7, flashed two “V for Victory signs” wearing a orange hunting ball cap with lights on the brim.