ZANESVILLE, Ohio In what he is billing as a "closing argument" to Ohio's voters, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is sweeping across this key battleground state to promote GOP nominee Mitt Romney and warn voters that they will be buried by taxes if President Obama is reelected.
"Let's remember, today's deficits are nothing more than tomorrow's tax increase," Ryan said as he decried the spending of the last four years. "Because it threatens businesses in the future. Because it threatens jobs today. And because we know, without a shred of doubt, that these young kids in this room are inheriting an inferior standard of living."
The Obama campaign has responded to similar arguments by citing its rivals' refusal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans as well as Republican the Dodd-Frank law aimed at preventing and policing abuses in the financial sector.
"All he wants to do is bring back the failed policies of making the middle class pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and letting Wall Street write its own rules again," Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said after a Romney appearance on Friday night in North Canton, Ohio. "That's not 'change', it's the same formula that crashed the economy and punished the middle class in the first place."
Ryan said the essence of the Republican argument has been a discussion of job creation and the Mitt Romney's leadership. But plenty of the stump speech he is offering voters in his eight-stop, 400-mile bus tour of Ohio focused on attacking the president's record.
In particular, Ryan is focusing on blue collar voters in the state, citing weak manufacturing statistics and promising to add more coal jobs if Romney is elected.
"If you don't have a strong manufacturing sector, you don't have a healthy economy. You have to have a strong manufacturing sector to have a healthy economy, to have a strong America. That is so critical to our health," he said earlier in the day during a stop at Gradall Industries, which makes excavating equipment, in New Philadelphia, Ohio.
As the race in Ohio tightens - most polls show Obama with just a narrow lead inside the margin of error - Ryan argued that the debates have helped him and his running mate.
"There have been hundreds of millions of dollars of negative advertising from the spring on trying to disqualify Mitt Romney," Ryan said, "But what we learned at the debates is that this is a man of integrity, this is a man of principle, this is a man who knows how to create jobs, this is a man we would be proud to call our president."
Ryan's bus tour will take him to local businesses in Circleville and Yellow Springs on Saturday afternoon and Sabina in the evening. On Sunday he will visit Celina, Findlay and Marion.