Paul Ryan Send-Off Rally

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JANESVILLE (WIFR) -- As Paul Ryan prepares to fly out to Tampa for the Republican National Convention, he made a pitstop in his hometown of Janesville.

Thousands of supporters showed up to Janesville's Craig High School to give Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan the ultimate send-off.

"Well let's make the list shorter and say what don’t I like about Paul Ryan, everything! I like that he's down to earth. I like that any room that he walks into he's going to be the smartest man in that room, and I truly believe that," said Kristi Lacroix, a Ryan supporter.

Ryan explained how his Janesville upbringing helped shape him into the person he is today, telling the crowd job creation will be his and Mitt Romney's main focus.

"Well, I was inspired. He wants to re-establish the principles this country was founded on, not change them in a revolting way. I like Ryan. He's really inspiring to me,” said Mike Riley, Ryan supporter.

But, it's Ryan's stance on issues like medicare, women’s issues, and unemployment benefits that had about 50 people protesting outside the rally.

"It's about the haves and the have nots. Right now, I'm one of the have nots. So, I have plenty of time to come and be seen,” Randy Bryce, a Ryan Protester, said.

Ryan spoke for about 15 minutes before leaving for the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

At one point in the rally, a protestor began heckling Ryan, and was escorted out of the stadium by security. Ryan supporters followed this incident by chanting “USA, USA”.

Ryan’s role at the convention will include speaking Wednesday in Tampa to formally accept the GOP Vice Presidential nomination. It is likely he will say similar things to what was heard today regarding boosting the job market for Americans.

Ryan didn't miss a whole lot today in Tampa. The GOP chairman opened an abbreviated session of the convention this afternoon.
Just a few delegates attended today's opening ceremony.

The convention will culminate with the formal nomination of Mitt Romney. The threat of tropical storm Isaac delayed much of today's proceedings, reducing four days of speeches and videos down to three.

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