3:17pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Politics

Colorado Meets Paul Ryan As He Talks Energy And Economy At Campaign Stop

  • Nathan Heffel speaking to Kirk Siegler on All Things Considered

The presumed Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan stopped in Colorado for a two day campaign swing. His only public event was in Lakewood Tuesday.

Colorado was Ryan’s second stop since joining the Romney campaign last weekend, the first was Iowa.

Nathan Heffel: Kirk Siegler was at the Lakewood High School gym where Ryan spoke and Kirk, what kind of a reception did he get?

Kirk Siegler: A warm one, Ryan cast himself as someone who knows a lot about this state, saying that he vacations here a lot; he likes to climb the fourteeners. You could see his reputation as an eloquent speaker on full display as he addressed the crowd without a teleprompter. He didn’t delve too deeply into his controversial budget plan to put Medicare into private vouchers, barely even mentioned it which I found interesting. Basically, he kept his attacks square on President Obama.

Paul Ryan: And without a doubt President Obama inherited a difficult situation. Here’s the problem, he made it worse (applause).

Heffel: Ryan stuck mostly to his talking points about the budget and President Obama’s handling of the economy. But he also veered into energy – an important issue in a battleground state like this.

Siegler: Paul Ryan called for an all of the above strategy, noting that Colorado is rich in oil and gas, coal and wind and solar. He also said President Obama is trying to stifle domestic energy production, namely oil and gas drilling on federal public lands in the West.

Mr. Ryan: He has 10 different agencies and four executive offices regulating hydraulic fracturing, we think Colorado knows how to take care of this themselves, we want you to be in charge.

Ryan was alluding there to Colorado’s public disclosure fracking rule. He didn’t talk about the wind power production tax credit. And Democrats held a presser nearby after the rally which featured a wind power company executive highlighting the fact that Romney doesn’t support extending the Production Tax Credit, especially in a week where layoffs were announced at Vestas Wind Systems down in Pueblo.

Credit Kirk Siegler / KUNC

Heffel: Following the speech on Twitter and hearing from you, there was a lot of enthusiasm for Ryan – perhaps even more than Mitt Romney. But how do you think he’ll play with swing voters, independents in a place like Jefferson County where he spoke?

Siegler: It’s safe to say a few folks who came out to see what Ryan had to say and what he’s all about. But this was mostly a crowd of staunch conservatives. It’s not clear yet whether the addition of Ryan to the ticket will hurt Romney’s chances with independents in a county like this.

I put this to Paula Rutan of Lakewood, who was standing outside the gym after the speech hoping to get a glimpse of Ryan. She didn’t think it would hurt Republicans that’s for sure.

Paula Rutan: It really pumped me up. I have to say it pumped me up. I’m OK with Mitt but I’m really on board with Mr. Ryan.