Paul Ryan Slams President on Energy Policy, Saying Obama Will 'Keep His War on Coal Going'

Mark Duncan/AP Photo

MOON TOWNSHIP, Penn.-For the first time in two months, Paul Ryan stumped in Pennsylvania, landing in this town just outside of Pittsburgh, and rallying a crowd of several hundred on the tarmac.

The GOP vice presidential nominee tailored his remarks to the steel country audience, hitting the president on his energy policies and accusing Barack Obama of not being "willing to lay out a second term agenda."

"If he's reelected we know exactly what the next four years will look like," Ryan said. "We'll have more of the same failed policies. More taxes, more spending, more debts, and four more years of these disastrous energy policies. Look, gas prices are more than double what they were four years ago, who knows what they're going to be if he got four more years."

Ryan often hits his Democratic opponents on their energy policy, but his remarks Saturday were more pointed, accusing the president of employing policies that would both prevent getting "people back to work and lower(ing) our energy prices."

"He'll keep his war on coal going," Ryan said of Obama. "Over a hundred coal plants are scheduled to close costing us thousands of jobs…not only do these policies cost us jobs, not only do they mean that American energy dollars go to the Middle East they are keeping us from having a boon, they are keeping us from having jobs, they are keeping us from making our pay checks stretch farther.

He ended the attack by assuring the enthusiastic group of supporters his ticket would be victorious, noting Pennsylvania would help them get there.

"The good news is none of that's going to happen because we're going to win this election and we're going to turn back on American energy," Ryan said.

The Obama campaign immediately responded to Ryan's attack on the president's energy policy saying he "either doesn't know his running mate's record or he's just not telling the truth about it."

"As Governor, Mitt Romney said a coal-fired plant 'kills people' and touted his power plant regulations as the 'toughest in the nation,' Obama campaign spokesperson Danny Kanner said in a statement. "But under President Obama, employment in coal mining hit a 15 year high in 2011 while he's making historic investments in clean coal research and development."

Ryan walked off his plane and on to the rally stage where he was introduced by GOP U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, whom Ryan called one of his "best friends in Congress."

The last time Ryan was here was Aug. 21 where he made two campaign stops in Carnegie and West Chester as well as fundraising in Philadelphia.

The most recent poll out of the Keystone State is from Quinnipiac and it shows Mitt Romney has made gains in Pennsylvania, but the president still leads Mitt Romney 50 percent to 46 percent.

Ryan's stop Saturday is more likely related to it's proximity to Southeastern Ohio than a real pitch for Pennsylvania voters. Ryan has an event about 70 miles away in Belmont, Ohio where he will be pitching the ticket to a more critical audience: Ohio voters.