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Ryan kicks off family-friendly bus tour in Iowa


DUBUQUE, IA – Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan kicked off another battleground state bus tour Monday night here and told voters it is all about family.

“Janna and I are kicking off a bus tour today in Iowa. I live two hours east of here in Janesville. We wanted to start here in Loras because this is where my grandfather went to college,” Ryan said, speaking inside the field house at Loras College.

“It is great to have family with us on the road. It is great to have family with us as we do this bus tour through Iowa,” he continued, noting that his wife’s family is from nearby Clinton, Iowa.

Ryan was joined by his three kids -- Liza, Charlie and Sam -- his wife Janna and her two sisters on the two-day bus trip and even reminisced about his connection with Dubuque.

“On the way over here, I had this song ringing in my mind. A song I grew up hearing all the time in southern Wisconsin: ‘Dubuque, Dubuque, da da da da da da da Dubuque, Dubuque. I know you have that thing in your mind,” the seven-term Wisconsin congressman sang to the roughly 1,000-person crowd inside as well as later to the several hundred people who were kept out of the event by the fire marshal.

Just a week ago, Ryan was in Lima, OH kicking off a three-day bus tour for the GOP ticket. Mitt Romney currently trails President Barack Obama in both key Midwest states.

The new Des Moines Register poll released late Saturday night found Obama leading Romney 49 percent to 45 percent in the battleground state.

During Monday night’s event in the Hawkeye State, Ryan explained to the crowd it’s a “difficult reelection” for Obama and that the president must “win Iowa to win this thing.”

Ryan’s rally on the northeast boarder of Iowa marks his fifth event in the state and is just two days before the first presidential debate.

“We are entering the debate phase, the choice phase of this campaign,” he told the enthusiastic crowd.

Tuesday, Ryan holds three events along the Mississippi River in Iowa to conclude the “Real Recovery” bus tour in the towns of Clinton, Muscatine, and Burlington.