Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a longtime political ally of Barack Obama, made a campaign stop on behalf of the president in downtown Waukesha Monday — just hours after GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a rally miles away at Carroll University.
"It's rare for someone from Illinois to get this kind of warm reception," he joked, after walking in to the party headquarters and receiving a round of applause.
Durbin told the room full of supporters and campaign volunteers that the Romney/Ryan ticket has an unrealistic plan to solve the debt and deficit crisis, noting that Ryan voted against the budget reform recommendations made by the Simpson-Bowles commission.
"If you look at his budget and the budget of Mitt Romney, there is no way they are going to deal in a responsible fashion with this deficit," he said.
Durbin also told the crowd to remember that Ryan is a follower of Ayn Rand, a Russian writer and philosopher.
"The basic message of Ayn Rand was, 'I'm aboard, pull up the ladder' or 'Just remember, we are all in this alone,'" he said. "We are not in this alone and thank goodness that we are in this together."
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Hours before Durbin spoke, Ryan rallied Republican supporters at the Van Male Field House on the Carroll University campus during an early morning campaign stop, attended by about 1,500 people.
“Before Obama came into office, every man woman and child bore a $36,000 share of the national debt. Now every child born in this country is $51,000 in debt,” Ryan told the crowd. “We have to go to other nations to borrow money to pay for our government. We can’t keep doing this. We lose our sovereignty.”
Durbin said Americans must come together to deal with the economic and social issues that challenge the country.
"When it comes to working families and middle-income families, what President Obama is saying is the right message. The highest priority in the next four years is to make sure working families in America have a fighting chance," he said.
Durbin also attacked Romney on being the first presidential candidate in history who has a Swiss bank account and tax shelters in the Cayman Islands.
"Why would you have a Swiss bank account?" he asked. "Basically, if you want to hide what you are doing or if you think the Swiss Franc is a lot stronger currency than the U.S. dollar."