OXFORD, Ohio - Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan returned to his alma mater Wednesday at Miami University for a political rally, where the main issue for his supporters is the state of the economy.
A crowd of nearly 5,500 rallied outside MU’s new engineering building at 6:30 p.m. to hear Ryan’s speech, many of those supporters were worried small business owners.
“The economy is my main worry,” said Bob Green, 50, an owner of a small heating and air condition business and resident of Camden. “It has affected my small business. Cash flows have certainly tightened up.”
An ad the Romney team is currently airing has given some local small business owners enthusiasm for the Nov. 6 election.
The ad titled “These Hands,” shows a clip of Obama speaking about the importance of public investment. The president said, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. … Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
The president’s campaign said the ad is out of context, but many local business owners who showed up at MU Wednesday said they are not happy with what the president.
“It was an unfortunate choice of words from the president because I know that I worked for 12 years, seven days a week to build my business, so I know what I have done,” Green said. “I believe that everyone has the same shot and I built my business.”
Ryan spoke on the topic of small business, telling the crowd that most new jobs in the country come from small businesses and that this election has two very different choices.
Working to connect Mitt Romney to business, Ryan told the crowd that Romney started businesses including Sports Authority and Staples and helped turn around many failing businesses during his tenure at Bain Capital.
“We're not going to demonize the successful, we're going to help small business become successful,” Ryan said. “If you have a small business you did build that.”
Many business owners that showed support for the Romney-Ryan ticket believe federal spending needs to be cut.
“The most important issue is the economy… period,” said Randy Haggard, 52, a jeweler and resident of Fairfield. “We just can’t keep spending money like we are spending.”
Haggard said he has felt the burden of the economy at his business, where the price of gold has sky rocketed to over $1,600 an ounce.
Healthcare was also a hot issue among business owners and Ryan supporters Wednesday.
"I think repealing the healthcare [the Affordable Health Care Act], would be a big help to some Ohio business,” said Valerie Peters, 43, an industrial worker from Dark County.
Peters said some of her family that works in the healthcare industry are worried about the affects of the law as well.
“Many business owners I know that voted for change in 2008 are looking at Romney now,” Peters said. “I’m not sure they expected the type of change Obama was going to bring.”
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