MILWAUKEE -- Democrats gathered in Milwaukee Sunday afternoon to discuss Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. Romney announced Ryan as his VP pick Saturday, August 11th in Norfolk, Virginia, aboard the USS Wisconsin. Romney and Ryan were in Wisconsin Sunday evening for a rally in Waukesha.
Speakers at Milwaukee's Local 113 Union Hall Sunday afternoon described Ryan's budget and economic policies as backwards. They say he's trying to do away with Medicare and eventually, social security in an effort to cut spending. They called Ryan's ideas recycled trickle-down economics that failed in the past -- putting too much pressure on the middle class and not enough on the wealthy.
Democrats said they believe their story of economic recovery without the elimination of social programs will win the election.
Volunteers for President Barack Obama's campaign said Romney's selection of Ryan energizes them and gives them focus moving forward.
President Barack Obama met with his campaign in Chicago following the Romney/Ryan announcement Saturday. Obama hosted a series of fundraisers Sunday related to his 51st birthday. Obama is not speaking directly about Ryan's VP appointment, but his campaign released a statement.
The Obama campaign statement reads: "...as a member of Congress, Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy. Now, the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeating the same, catastrophic mistakes."
Meanwhile, other Wisconsin Democrats also reacted to the news.
"(Ryan is) a good family man, but his vision for the country is wrong," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.
Mayor Barrett says Romney trails Obama in the polls, and the selection of Ryan indicates Romney is trying to energize his campaign which he says is lagging in support.
Barrett disagrees with Ryan's remedy for ending the nation's economic woes, and says his plan to turn Medicaid into a voucher system puts more and more pressure on the middle class. Barrett says the nation's economic decline began with George W. Bush.
In a statement issued Saturday, Democrats said: "In selecting Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has doubled down on his plan to raise taxes on middle class Wisconsinites to pay for an additional $250,000 tax break for millionaires and billionaires. Both Romney and Ryan support taking our country back to the same trickle down policies that got us into the financial crisis and destroyed economic security for the middle class. Paul Ryan’s radical budget would also end Medicare as we know it, resulting in higher medical costs for seniors. Working Wisconsinites can’t afford the Romney-Ryan polices."
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