MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Paul Ryan held his final rally of the campaign in his home state here exactly five months to the day after Republicans survived a gubernatorial recall and the GOP vice presidential nominee hopes his state will go red again Tuesday.
“They have always taken us for granted, Wisconsin. They thought it was easy. We haven't gone Republican since 1984. One more day. One more day. One more day,” Ryan told the 2,500-person crowd. “Let's prove them wrong. Scott Walker showed you what leadership looks like. Our leaders led and the people of Wisconsin had his back. But we’ve got one more left. We’ve had a lot of elections here in Wisconsin lately. We know how they work and we know how to win them.”
Walker, the Wisconsin governor who embraced Ryan Monday night after introducing him, was victorious during the bitter recall election on June 5, 2012, beating labor unions and Democrats who tried to remove him from office.
The late-night rally was the last of five events for Ryan across four time zones on the eve of the election. The seven-term Wisconsin congressman was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd inside a hangar at the General Mitchell International Airport here -- it’s the airport Ryan flew in and out of on weekends to visit his family in Wisconsin from Congress.
"Boy, it feels so good to be home,” Ryan proclaimed after holding rallies in Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and Ohio. “This is a special moment for us. It's a special moment because we have traveled across this country as a family talking with people throughout America who care so deeply about their country, who know that this is a unique moment, who know it’s a serious moment, it's a serious time and I've gotta tell ya, the experience that Janna and Liza and Sam and Charlie and I have had together, meeting with people around this country has warmed our hearts, it has been incredible because so many Americans have come out to get their country back on the right track.”
Ryan continued: “And we know in one day we 're going to turn this thing around, elect Mitt Romney, the next president of the United States and turn this thing around. We're going to do it right here in Wisconsin."
Polls are tight in the Badger State between President Barack Obama and Romney, but Ryan is optimistic that the state’s “beautiful 10 electoral votes” will fall to the GOP’s side on Election Day.
“We can do this. All eyes are watching us. Wisconsin, the Packers made it last Sunday, they are on a roll. We know how to win. We know how to make a difference,” Ryan said as he wrapped up his nearly 20-minute speech to his hometown crowd. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of my family. Thank you for what you’ve done. Thank you for your support.”
Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, Sen. Ron Johnson, and U.S. senate candidate Tommy Thompson were all in the crowd Monday to wish their hometown son on to victory in just a few short hours.
Ryan will vote in Janesville on Tuesday morning before two quick stops in the battleground states of Ohio and Virginia. Then he heads to Boston for his party’s election night party.