WDBJ7 sat down with Ryan for the second time since the Wisconsin Congressman was named to the Republican ticket.
We began with Mitt Romney's controversial comments at a private Florida fundraiser. In a video that surfaced this week, Romney told a group of donors that 47 percent of the American people who pay no taxes will vote for President Obama no matter what, because they're dependent upon government. Ryan described Mitt Romney's comments as "inarticulate," but said the Republican campaign isn't writing off voters in a region with the state's highest unemployment rate.
"The point we're trying to make," Ryan argued, "is under the stagnant Obama economy more people have fallen behind, more people have become dependent in their working lives. We don't want people who are in their prime working years to go without a job," Ryan said. "That's why we're proposing this five point plan which is aimed at getting people from welfare to work."
"Our goal is not to measure the success of our social programs as to how many people can go on food stamps," Ryan said. "Our goal is to measure success by how many people we can transition off food stamps and dependency onto lives of self-sufficiency, by having jobs."
With the focus on jobs, Piedmont Precision Machine Company provided the backdrop for Ryan's visit to Danville. 37- year- employee Philip Richardson demonstrated a large steel lathe, while Ryan and his brother Tobin toured the facility with owner William Gentry, and 5th District Congressman Robert Hurt.
On the stump and during our interview, Ryan seized on the news of more lay-offs in the coalfields. "The Obama administration has been so hostile to American-made energy," Ryan said. "We just learned that 1200 coal jobs were lost yesterday in states like Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, because of these onerous regulations on coal.
As for Virgil Goode's campaign for President as the nominee of the Constitution Party, Ryan said he doesn't think it will be a significant factor. "I've known Virgil Goode for a number of years," Ryan said. "I served in Congress when Virgil was in Congress. I really don't think that people are going to look at it this way. This is really a contest between Mitt Romney and his pro-growth vision for jobs, and President Obama and his failed leadership of the last four years."
Ryan said he has hunted, fished, backpacked and canoed in Virginia. And he hinted that he and the man at the top of the Republican ticket will be returning to the region between now and November 6th.