During the first two stops of his Iowa campaign trip, President Barack Obama took direct aim at Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s newly-minted running mate, reports NBC.
The president focused his fire on the young congressman and his proposals to dramatically cut the size of government.
He told a rally in the heartland state of Iowa that Mr Ryan was “the ideological leader of the conservative Republican agenda” and accused him of “standing in the way” of White House efforts to aid farmers struggling with the worst drought in half a century.
“If you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities,” Obama said as Ryan campaigned in the same state. “It’s time to put politics aside and pass it right away.”
But the president dropped that direct appeal at his next stop at a park pavilion in Boone, IA, where he repeated what is already becoming a familiar, albeit softer, line of attack: “Over the weekend my opponent chose as his running mate the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress.
He continues: “And I’ve gotten to know Congressman Ryan – he’s a good man, he’s a family man, he’s a very articulate spokesperson for Governor Romney’s vision. But it’s a vision I fundamentally disagree with.”
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign stepped up its efforts to frighten pensioners in Florida, warning that Mr Ryan’s budget proposals would mean a radical overhaul of Medicare, the government healthcare programme for the elderly, writes The Telegraph.
A new video by the Obama campaign features Florida seniors talking about how Ryan’s Medicare plans could affect them. The president’s re-election campaign is releasing the video on the same day Romney campaigns in Florida.
Accordng to The Huff Post, seniors in the new video portray the Republican Romney-Ryan ticket as a threat to Medicare and Obama as its protector.
“You have a stark choice, as stark as we’ve seen in a generation, at least,” Obama said on Sunday at a $40,000-per-person fundraiser on the front lawn of his home in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood.
Politico reports that Barack Obama will start Monday in Chicago before heading to Council Bluffs and Boone for speeches. The president is also expected to stop at restaurants and other attractions as the bus tour wends across the state.
He’s set to spend Monday night in Des Moines, and could make a stop at the state fair, just as he and Michelle Obama did in the summer of 2007.
“I believe that women should have control over their health-care choices. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have a different view,” the president said at the fundraiser held at his home.
“I believe it was right to end ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and let anybody who loves this country fight for this country. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have a different view. I believe in investing in clean energy, that we shouldn’t just restrict our energy approach to fossil fuels. Mr. Romney and Congressman Ryan have a different view.”
Ryan has proposed a voucher-like system to reshape Medicare that independent budget analysts say would likely mean higher costs for seniors. Ryan maintains the changes are needed to preserve Medicare for future generations.
In the meantime, Ryan will keep up the attacks on Obama’s record that he launched on the campaign trail over the weekend. And, though he’s never campaigned in Iowa, the Romney campaign is confident he’ll be an important voice in reaching out to the state’s voters.