Ryan comes to Grand Junction to fuel GOP hopes

Paul Ryan, the running mate of Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, stirs a packed Brownson Arena at Colorado Mesa University on Monday.

Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan pitched his running mate, Mitt Romney, to a standing-room-only crowd at Brownson Arena at Colorado Mesa University just before the third presidential debate on Monday.

“This is one of the times when the man and the moment are meeting so well,” Ryan, a U.S. representative from Wisconsin, told more than 2,500 people packed into the arena for what was billed as a debate-watch party.

In the debate, Ryan said, Romney would come across as presidential, thoughtful and controlled.

“We will see Mitt Romney for what he is,” Ryan said.

Ryan hit several familiar GOP themes from the election, noting that 23 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, 46 million are in poverty, and economic growth is lagging.

He said energy-rich regions such as western Colorado could play a dual role.

Development of domestic sources could both increase energy and provide needed jobs, Ryan said.

Romney will approve the Keystone Pipeline from Canada to Texas and “will end the war on coal,” Ryan said to cheers.

For several in the audience, Ryan’s comments were what they came to hear.

“Our economy is energy-driven,” said Josh Hudson, who makes his living hauling water to and from drill sites. The administration of President Barack Obama “has not been a friend, not one at all,” Hudson said.

Trevor Fry, a CMU sophomore majoring in history, said he was pleased to hear Ryan’s emphasis on energy.

“I liked the idea of using our natural resources” for greater energy security, Fry said.

Megan Fuentes, a CMU sports-management major, said she wanted to hear Ryan out, but in the end was unconvinced.

“I’m all for Obama,” Fuentes said, adding that he needs more than four years to get his work done.

Ryan left Grand Junction for Denver, where he was to rally with Romney at Red Rocks Ampitheater while Obama also planned to campaign in Denver.


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