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Ryan to Colorado voters: 'We need a strong military'

Ed Andrieski / AP

Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis speaks at a campaign stop at Walker Manufacturing in Fort Collins, Colo., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Congressman Paul Ryan had a simple message for those gathered to hear him speak at America the Beautiful Park: A Mitt Romney administration would support America’s military.

“Mitt Romney and I want to be very clear with you. We value and respect your mission here and we believe in and support missile defense, and missile defense is necessary to keep us safe and we will not allow that to go through,” the Republican vice presidential nominee said. “To the soldiers in Fort Carson to the airmen at Peterson and Schriever Air Force Base and to those cadets at the Air Force Academy: We respect you, we appreciate you and we will back you because we need you. We need your support. We need what you do.”

Slideshow: On the campaign trail

Ryan, speaking just down the street from the Air Force Academy, talked about the joy and hope it brings him to appoint students to the various military academies around the country as a seven-term congressman.

“It is one of the greatest experiences because every year I get to sit down and to see these young men and these women and it gives you so much hope that there is such a great future for us because we are still raising such quality people here. I have had such an honor to appoint young men and women to the Air Force Academy here; I still get postcards and pictures and Christmas cards. This is a gem. This is one of the greatest things we do in this country,” he said.

The Wisconsin congressman also hit President Barack Obama for his “devastating defense cuts” to the military, something Ryan has talked about numerous times on the trail but made this very personal appeal for the first time here in the Centennial State.

“Of all the things that Mitt Romney and I differ, disagree with President Obama -- we need a strong military. We believe in peace through strength. We believe that when America’s military is strong, America is safer. This is so critical to our way of life, to our peace, to our security, to our democracy, to our prosperity,” he said during the outdoor rally that drew nearly 1,500 people.

“And these defense cuts that he is promising, these devastating defense cuts that he is promising not only undermine our peace, not only undermine our security, they compromise jobs right here.”

While Ryan campaigned in the battleground state of Colorado, Romney wrapped up a three-day Ohio bus tour with just 41 days before voters head to the polls in November.

The month of October will include debates leading up to the Nov. 6th election – the first one takes place on Oct. 3 in Denver.

Ryan was asked about Romney’s readiness to “take it to Obama.”

“Absolutely,” Ryan said. “But one little difference between then and now. President Obama has a record and President Obama has a record and a string of broken promises.”

The GOP vice presidential nominee is scheduled to spend the next several days focusing heavily on fundraising. Ryan heads to Tennessee, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York City to raise money through the weekend.