Campaign Crunch Time: Former president and would-be VP in Eau C - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Campaign Crunch Time: Former president and would-be VP in Eau Claire


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Two huge crowds turned out for big campaign events in Eau Claire on Wednesday.

The first event was around 8:30 a.m.  There was a rally for Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate.  The event was held at the Florian Gardens.  This was the first time we've seen him in Eau Claire since the summer, just days before Governor Romney picked him as his running mate.

This may be the first time former President Bill Clinton has ever campaigned in Eau Claire.  He was in Chippewa County in 1992 when he first ran for president.  About 11 hours after Wednesday's GOP event, he stumped for President Obama at the Ramada in downtown Eau Claire.  "The one true thing the Romney campaign has said that I cannot disagree with... it's 100% accurate, is that they had no intention of letting their campaign be dictated by fact checkers...and they have been as good as their word," said the former president.

He talked for about 40 minutes, focusing on the economy, health care and making college more affordable.  "Starting next year, every single student in America with a federal student loan will have the absolute right to pay that loan back as a small fixed percentage of their income for up to 20 years."

"I thought it was a fantastic speech," said Nate Lange.  "He made a lot of great points and solidified my vote."  "Mitt Romney has been all over the place so he has to expect to be called out for that," said Sara Adams, who was also at the campaign event.

Congressman Ryan talked about the economy and the role of government during his campaign stop earlier in the day.  He also talked about the important role Wisconsin could have at the polls.  "We, in Wisconsin, are not picking another president for just four years.  It's not that kind of election.  We are deciding the kind of country we're going to be, the kind of people we're going to be for at least a generation.  Problems have been building in Congress and Washington and they need to be solved," said Rep. Ryan, who continued, "We owe you solutions grounded in those founding and timeless principles, freedom, liberty, free enterprise, self-determination.  The government works for us and not the other way around."

"I am just really excited to come out today and just support, and show our support for small businesses as a small business owner in Eau Claire," said Nicole Kuhnert, who was at the event.  "Paul believes the same way that I do, get the government out of the way and let us go.  That's what built this country, and it will continue to do it," said Emilio Rinaldi from Eau Claire.

WQOW News 18 has more coverage of the two events on this website.

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