In Final Stretch to Vote, Paul Ryan Turns to Town Hall Meetings
(LIMA, Ohio) — With six weeks to go before Election Day, the Romney campaign is entering the final sprint and Paul Ryan is returning to a way of campaigning that has worked for him in Wisconsin: the town hall meeting.
He’s held over 500 in his home state, but before recently he had only done one just after being named Mitt Romney’s running mate. He’s done five since becoming the vice presidential nominee, including three in the last two weeks.
It’s a free-wheeling format that even Romney generally avoids.
On Saturday, at the University of Central Florida, Ryan unveiled a four-slide Powerpoint presentation on the national debt, something he used again in Lima at the start of the GOP ticket’s Ohio bus tour, telling the crowd, “This is the crisis that is on our doorstep, that we know about that President Obama sees these numbers, and not only is not doing anything to fix it, he is making it worse.”
He scrolled through the slides, noting when he first brought them out that he’s “kind of a Powerpoint guy.”
Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the question and answer format is something he enjoys and wants to do more of.
“I’m feeling my own way because it’s my first national campaign to be in the middle of. And so I’m basically asserting my own preferences now, and I like it,” Ryan told the newspaper’s Craig Gilbert. “I’m learning how to do this. I’m learning how a national campaign works. So I spent a good bit of time doing rallies and events, and I got to realizing, that you know what, I want to do more town hall meetings. That’s been my bread and butter in Congress. I really like that. It’s more interactive. You get to actually communicate directly with people.”
An aide to Ryan said it’s “a format he likes and is comfortable with,” adding “the entire campaign has been very supportive. We’re finding the best venues and formats to help lay out the serious choice that the American people face in this election.”
The same aide told ABC News that Ryan was “certainly involved” in the switch to a more town hall-heavy schedule and said that the campaign makes “decisions day by day on the best way to communicate — there’s no fixed formula.”
Conservatives have been vocal that Ryan should be a more visible on the campaign trail. Though the more frequent town halls may not completely appease critics, it’s clear Ryan enjoys them.
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