Republican vice president candidate Paul Ryan visits UCF

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a town hall rally at the University of Central Florida on Saturday, Sept. 22, in support of Mitt Romney and in defense of the issues facing the Republican party 45 days before the national presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.“We can’t afford four more years of the last four years,” said Ryan, in his speech to a crowd primarily comprised of seniors and students.

The large group in attendance gave an overwhelming positive reception to Congressman Ryan throughout his entire speech with no noticeable outburst of heckling during his time on stage.

Ryan used this event to focus on economic issues that he feels reflect on the declining path the country is taking and he referred to a statement that Americans are not better off than they were four years ago when President Obama took office.

Cuts to NASA in recent years and how this has adversely affected the local economy in Central Florida was the first point that Ryan made, addressing the loss of America’s role as the leader in space exploration and mentioning our new reliance on Russia to send astronauts into space.

A majority of the rest of his opening speech was solely focused on the economic issue facing our nation, primarily dealing with the skyrocketing national debt and reliance on foreign countries like China to borrow money to meet our financial obligations.

In a move he is well known for on Capitol Hill, Ryan used examples of graphs and pie charts to show the rate of borrowing and spending over the last 80 years and how the current path we are on is unsustainable.

This is a crisis which mirrors the debt crisis seen in Europe and is one that can be prevented if acted upon now, according to Ryan. He is calling our national debt the most predictable crisis we face in this country with a president that doesn’t have any clear solutions to solve.

This sentiment was reflected by members of the audience even before Ryan took the stage.

“Running up the national debt is the number one issue facing this nation, we are adding $10 million per minute in unfunded liabilities and around four and a half billion dollars every day,” said William Breazeal, an Iraq war veteran and colonel in the U.S. Army reserves.

As part of the town hall aspect of this event Ryan soon took questions from the audience, addressing with confidence on every issue, stating numerous figures and examples to further defend his positions.

Several times the issue of retirement benefits and Medicare reform were addressed by Ryan who stuck to his statements in the recent past that Obamacare presents the greatest threat to Medicare.

The day before this rally in Orlando, Ryan was booed at an AARP convention in New Orleans when he attacked the president’s policies located within Obamacare. The crowd at UCF vigorously cheered when he mentioned similar statements about the repeal of Obamacare at Saturday’s rally.

This issue is sure to play an ever present role in all the upcoming debates scheduled to take place throughout the month of October.

“Every point he made was right on the money; first and foremost was what he said about Obamacare, that’s going to destroy my Medicare as well as everyone else if we don’t get it stopped,” said audience member and retiree Pat Annunchani.

One thing that remains certain is with around 40 days left until the upcoming election, both parties will stress the political arguments they feel best reflect their ideology in a presidential race.