TINMATH, Colo. - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told a few thousand supporters here that President Obama is to blame for the country's sagging economy, gave a Power Point presentation and took audience questions during an appearance at a local business Wednesday morning.
"The Obama agenda failed not because it was stopped, but because it was passed," Ryan said to a standing room only crowd inside Walker Mowers, where a few hundred supporters stood in line outside, unable to get in.
Again hitting on Obama's statement last week during a Univision forum that he couldn't change Washington, Ryan argued that that's what presidents are elected to do.
"If President Obama can't change Washington, it's time to change presidents and elect Mitt Romney the next president of the United States."
Ryan blasted the Obama administration on energy before pivoting into a nuanced explanation of the nation's debt crisis.
"If there is one thing we know about Obama policies, it is to stand in the way of American energy production," Ryan said, ignoring the fact that domestic oil production has soared under President Obama and is now at a record high.
Ryan also blasted Obama for standing in the way of the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which is estimated to create at least 1,000 jobs, although Republicans have claimed that it'll create more than 10,000.
"Of all the failures of the Obama administration, it is this," Ryan said, drawing the crowd's attention to several charts showing the U.S. Debt as a percentage of the economy and the percentage of debt owed to China, reprising the Power Point presentation he first debuted over the weekend in Florida.
"We need to deal with this," Ryan continued. "President Obama has had four chances to do something about this, four budgets, and never a one attempting to do something about this.
"This undermines our economic security," he said, turning to another chart showing the increasing individual's share of the debt.
"It gives our kids a diminished future. It is our moral obligation to save the future for our children and our grandchildren, and we need a leader who will do that as president of the United States."
Then, Ryan opened the meeting up for questions from the crowd. The first person asked about healthcare.
"The most important thing we can do is to repeal Obamacare," Ryan said. "We need a system where everyone has access to healthcare including people with preexisting conditions, without a big government takeover of healthcare.
"We need a patient-centered healthcare system."
Another question came from a woman who claims she's been on welfare for 20 years who asked how a Romney administration will ensure government aid is "a hand up, not a handout."
"We need to treat the root of poverty, not just the symptoms," Ryan said. "We need to get people in school, help them get jobs so they can work themselves up and out of poverty.
"We should be measuring the success of these programs by how many people we get off of these programs and into self-sufficiency."
Ryan also hit Obama on foreign policy, an area that's moved to the fore of the campaign in light of increasing unrest in the Arab world.
"All you have to do is turn on your TV to see how the Obama foreign policy is blowing up in our faces," Ryan said. "It looks like Tehran, 1979, except it's happening in 20 countries.
"We are projecting weakness abroad."
Ryan is scheduled to hold a second rally in Colorado Springs around 6 p.m. Wednesday night.