Paul Ryan: Obama Has America in 'Decline'
Westlake Recreation Center hosts appearance by the GOP vice-presidential candidate.
Nicole Miller of Lorain is 28, has finished nursing school recently, is unemployed, engaged and pregnant.
Her life experiences are what led her to stand in line to attend Tuesday's rally featuring Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan at the Westlake Recreation Center.
"I'm scared about everything," she said. "I'm worried about my baby in this world we live in. When people can't find jobs, crime goes up. People start losing their minds. I'm tired of seeing closed businesses and boarded-up homes where I live."
Her mom, Debbie Miller, agreed.
"I want jobs not just back here, but everywhere," she said. "I want the America of years ago back, those values. They're not just one religion's values, but all of our values."
The two were among a crowd of about 2,200 people who turned out on an overcast, humid morning for the rally, Ryan's second in Northeast Ohio in three weeks. He spoke at Walsh University in North Canton on Aug. 16.
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"President Obama and too many politicians like him are more concerned about their next election than the next generation," Ryan said. "We're going to lead."
Ryan's appearance in Westlake coincides the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, and Republicans plan to aggressively counter-program the Democratic confab, the Washington Post reports.
"President Obama inherited a difficult situation," Ryan said. "Here's the problem: He's made things worse. He can't run on his record. He's run out of ideas. His campaign is based on the politics of envy and division."
A heckler tried to interrupt Ryan's speech, but was promptly ejected by Westlake Police. About a dozen protesters chanted "You say 'cut back,' we say 'fight back!'" and held signs at the Hilliard Blvd. entrance to Recreation Center Park. A passer-by referred to the protesters and President Barack Obama as "communists."
Local politicians get crowd going
Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough said that America needs the Romney/Ryan ticket.
"We still have our AAA bond rating," he said. "Unfortunately, America does not. This should not be. Now is the time for a conservative, business-friendly environment so America can enjoy what Westlake has."
Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby's speech attacked President Obama, saying he has "failed."
"You have ignored the will of the people," Hruby said. "You have your own agenda ... You're fired!"
State Rep. Nan Baker, who represents District 16, said that Ohio is coming back on the job-creation front.
"It's not because of the policies of the Obama administration," she said. "It's because of what we've done here in Ohio."
U.S. Cong. Jim Renacci, who represents District 16, told the crowd that "big government," bailouts and Obamacare are not working. "In November, we'll be epicenter of change in Washington," he said.
Jobs, values draw people to rally
As the crowd filled the basketball courts at the Recreation Center, they were entertained with music ranging from Kenny Chesney to INXS to Kansas to Elvis Presley.
The only seats available were for elderly and disabled people, and VIP guests. What brought the rest out to stand in line on a humid morning, and then stand for up to two hours inside waiting for Ryan?
The economy and jobs were the most popular issues.
"We need to get the economy moving," said Darryl Haase of Cleveland's West Park. "There are storefronts that need to be filled."
Ryan has what it takes, he added.
"He's not a typical politician," Haase said. "He thinks things through, he has a good grasp of details and concrete ideas."
Values were often mentioned.
"I'm a very strong believer in God and the Constitution," said John Basler, visiting the area from Hawaii. "I had a great life growing up and want it passed on to the next generation to come."
"I like their stance on (supporting the defunding of) Planned Parenthood, support it 100 percent," Nicole Miler said.
A woman from North Olmsted, who gave her name as Marie, evoked the memory of her mother's family, which emigrated from Italy.
"They came here with nothing," she said. "They worked hard and sent their kids to school without any help from anybody."
Romney, Ryan and many speakers at the Republican National Convention last week resonated with her because of those values, Marie said.
Patriotism was another issue for her.
"This is the greatest country in the world, but we've lost respect in the world," she said. "That's on our leaders. If we're not proud of ourselves, we can't expect others to respect us."
After the Rec Center rally, Ryan will head to Cedar Rapids, IA, for a rally at Kirkwood Community College.