GREELEY – A chanting crowd at Paul Ryan’s rally Thursday said it all: “Five more days.”
Ryan – the Republican vice-presidential candidate – and President Barack Obama arrived in Colorado on Thursday to begin four intense days of campaigning that will see appearances from all four men on the two presidential tickets.
This morning, Ryan will touch down in Montrose for a rally.
Vice President Joe Biden has events scheduled Saturday in Pueblo and Arvada.
Also Saturday, Republican Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, will campaign in Colorado Springs and Denver’s southern suburbs.
And Obama will return Sunday to Aurora, possibly closing out the campaign for Colorado.
The blitz gives each campaign a chance to make its closing arguments to voters.
“We’re not just picking a president for the next four years,” Ryan said to a crowd of about 1,000 in Greeley. “This is a generation-shaping and -making election, and let’s not forget that.”
As he and Romney have throughout the campaign, Ryan cast the choice as one between more government and more prosperity.
He ridiculed Obama’s plan to consolidate several federal agencies under one “secretary of business.”
“We don’t need another bureaucrat and another bureaucracy. We need another president,” Ryan said.
He also urged the Republican faithful to reach out to friends who voted for Obama last time.
“In 2008, it sounded great – all this hope and all this change,” Ryan said.
Obama, too, spent a lot of time talking about change in front of a crowd of 11,000 at the University of Colorado’s basketball arena.
In a raucous half-hour speech, Obama tilted toward a positive message for the final days of the campaign.
“Our fight, our mission goes on, because we know this nation cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class,” he said.
For weeks, Obama beat up on Romney as a standard part of his stump speech But Thursday night, he mentioned the Republican by name only once, calling him a talented salesman who is selling himself as the change candidate.
“I know what real change looks like. I fought for it. I’ve got the scars to prove it,” Obama said.
He said Republicans who favor the status quo shouldn’t be rewarded on Election Day for sowing discord in Washington.
“Their strategy from the start was to ensure pure gridlock in Congress, refusing to compromise on ideas that traditionally both Democrats and Republicans agree on,” he said.
Obama pointed to economic expansion under Democratic President Bill Clinton and middle class struggles under Republican President George W. Bush as proof that Democrats have the right ideas.
Colorado’s nine electoral votes serve as Obama’s backup plan if he loses Ohio. For Romney, the state is virtually a must-win no matter what happens in Ohio.