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Paul Ryan Calls America a ‘Country in Decline’

Steve Pope/Getty Images(ADEL, Iowa) -- Paul Ryan said he believes the increasing national debt is causing the nation to become a “country in decline.”

At a rally in Adel, Iowa Wednesday, Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president, talked about the debt, now estimated at $16 trillion, and painted a grim picture of how it is affecting the country.

“We have a really big decision to make going forward,” Ryan said. “We know what the last four years has brought us. We are a country in doubt. We hit $16 trillion of debt. That was announced yesterday. That’s a country in decline. We have a clear choice. Are we going to stay on the path that President Obama has placed us on or are we going to turn this around, win this election and get the country back on the right track?”

The Obama campaign responded to Ryan: “What a pessimistic comment to come from the Republican ticket at a time when we’re continuing to recover, more work needs to be done,” Obama campaign spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Ryan initially noted the surpassing of the $16 trillion mark Tuesday, the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. It appears the U.S. first reached the new $16 trillion debt figure last week, on Aug. 31, according to the Daily Treasury Statement. The Treasury Department quietly posted it on its website Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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