Supporters Look to Paul Ryan For Enthusiasm, Answers
Largely friendly crowd excited to see vice presidential candidate, who has been someone they've been watching for years, in hopes of sparking the Republican ticket for the White House.
Many of the people who stood in line to be the first through the doors at Carroll University in Waukesha to see GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan speak at a town hall meeting did so in the dark.
The early Monday morning campaign stop had people lining up as early as 5:30 a.m. with doors opening at around 6:45 a.m.
Marnie Milnick from Oak Creek and Katie Gierach of Menomonee Falls were two undecided voters who attended the town hall, and their hope was that Ryan would talk about the criticisms GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had received about his tenure with Bain Capital.
"I know they will be going after him tomorrow at the debate, and I want to hear what the response is regarding his time at Bain," Geirach said.
Romney retired from the company, which he built from scratch in 1984, with a benefits package that have critics questioning the estimated $87 million value on his retirement. The topic never came up Monday.
For the most part, staunch supporters made up the audience for the event. Rita Pinscak of Waukesha said she has been a volunteer for the Romney campaign even before Ryan was on the ticket, calling it an easy job.
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"It has been an exciting, easy experience to talk to people, even those who had voted for Obama in 2008," she said. "They feel disappointed and feel that nothing has happened in the past four years."
"What I want to hear today is the same thing I've been hearing from the campaign, especially when it comes to foreign policy," Pinsack added. "I'm afraid of what's been going on in Libya and this administration's response to it. No one respects us anymore, and no one believes the United States will be there to help defend them."
School groups also attended the event, including Trinity Lutheran School in Waukesha and Kettle Moraine Baptist School in Whitewater.
Teacher Jim Swaffer said he hoped he would hear from Ryan that they were pulling ahead in the polls, as well as assure that abortion would be addressed during the administration's first term.
Afterward, people were pleased overall with the format and content of the morning.
"I thought it was a good format, and allowed for people to ask any questions," said Frank Edwards, who is an avid Romney supporter from Milwaukee.
Gierach and Milnick also found the format to be "real" and not "a repeat of campaign slogans," although they said they were still considering both sides as they left the meeting.
A scheduled protest for 6:30 a.m. did not materialize, and there were no interruptions during the meeting.