MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Fresh off accepting the Republican nomination for Vice President, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan said he and running mate Mitt Romney can relate to Floridians and know exactly what they want: jobs.
“I spend a lot of my time here in Florida. My mom retired in Florida; she lives by Lauderdale-by-the-Sea,” Ryan said. “What we know is we’ve gotta get people back to work. The unemployment rate in Florida is 8.8 percent.”
Congressman Ryan also said the foreclosure problems in Florida, combined with lack of jobs, is what has to be fixed and that the blame for all of the problems rests at the feet of President Barack Obama.
“Look at the foreclosure rate, look at how many homes are underwater,” Ryan said. “Getting people back to work, by getting strong economic growth, we can help heal the problems, the wounds that have been imposed here under the Obama economy.”
The problem for Romney-Ryan has been how to attack the unemployment issue. States like Florida have seen unemployment improve, which the state’s Republican governor Rick Scott wants to tout.
However, when Scott touts Florida’s economy, it flies in the face of Romney-Ryan’s claim that unemployment is getting worse in the country. Rumors swirled earlier in the year the Romney campaign was asking Scott and other swing state Republican governors to not tout the state’s improving unemployment numbers.
Ryan’s mother, which he referenced in the interview, has become a central figure in the campaign because she uses Medicare. Ryan’s original budget plan sought to turn Medicare into a premium voucher program instead of the system that is in place today.
Watch CBS4’s exclusive one-on-one interview with V.P. nominee Paul Ryan in its entirety:
Ryan and Romney have been careful to say that while they will propose and seek to make major changes to Medicare and other entitlement programs, they say they won’t touch the benefits of those already on the systems.
“My mom organized her retirement around Medicare,” Ryan said. “She planned her life around this promise. This promise needs to be kept.”
Ryan also took aim at President Obama on what the Republicans have deemed is a “raid” of Medicare funds to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. Ryan once again neglected to mention that his own budget plans keep those same cuts in place to help sustain Medicare.
“When President Obama took $716 billion away from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, that’s unacceptable,” Ryan said. “We want to get rid of this raid of Medicare. Restore the promise, so that people who moved here like my mom, and organized their retirement around the government promises, we need to keep these promises. The best way to do it is reform it for my generation, for your generation.”
Ryan and Romney were campaigning in Florida and then will be splitting up to campaign across the country. Romney is planning a trip to Hurricane-stricken Louisiana as early as Friday. Romney accepted the GOP nomination for president Thursday night in Tampa.