Ryan's First Florida Visit Draws Supporters, Protesters
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan made his first appearance in Florida since presidential hopeful Mitt Romney tapped him as running mate.
More than a hundred supporters and protesters of GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan came out Saturday during his appearance at the members-only Club at Treasure Island.
Ryan started the morning with a public appearance at the Villages retirement community, which is northwest of Orlando, and then headed to Treasure Island for a private fundraiser. Supporters said they want the candidates focused on jobs and getting rid of the U.S. debt.
A throng of protesters lined the north side of Treause Island Causeway, near the entrance to the Club at Treasure Island. Those who came out Saturday did not get to hear or see Ryan, but shouted and waved their signs as his motorcade was escorted on to the property of the private club.
Protesters on Saturday said that Ryan's budget plan favors the wealthy and hinders the middle class.
"Ryan is a complete and total hypocrite," said protester Jim Shirk. "He has tried to privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher system. It’s an absolutely travesty."
Shirk said he is afraid that the Romney/Ryan tax plan would hurt the middle class while giving big tax breaks to millionaires and corporations.
"If the Ryan/Romney group gets in, you’ll see a million jobs lost. You’ll see the middle class families pay an extra $2,000 in taxes a year to give the top one percent an average of $250,000 lower in taxes," Shirk told Patch. "I’m utterly terrified of the possibility of Romney and Ryan becoming president and vice president."
Ryan and Romney supporters told Patch that their plan would fix the American economy.
"I believe that it’s time that we get our fiscal house in order," said Ryan supporter Betsi Burgess. "We are headed for financial Armageddon. Whether you are right, left or center, that looming problem faces every one of us.
"You've got to have a start line and a finish line and you gotta have the wherewithal and determination to stay the course," Burgess added. "I believe (Ryan's) the kind of guy that can do that."
Laura Travison, a Ryan supporter, said re-electing Obama would be a mistake that this country cannot afford.
"I’m concerned that the Obama campaign will change our country from more of a free democracy into more a big government, socialist country," Travison said. "That is not what America is about."