Under the Dome

GOP rising star Ryan stumps for Romney

From staff reportsJune 6, 2012 

GOP Campaign Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis, speaks on Fox News Channelaïs "The OaïReilly Factor," in New York, Tuesday, April 10, 2012. Ryan said he hasn't had a discussion with Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney about taking the No. 2 spot on the ticket this fall. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

RICHARD DREW — AP

Congressman Paul Ryan, one of GOP’s rising stars, stumped for Mitt Romney in Raleigh Tuesday, saying the former Massachusetts governor offered the sort of solutions needed to get the country working again.

Ryan , the chief architect of the GOP budget and a potential vice presidential candidate, held a roundtable discussion at Big Ed’s restaurant, a fundraiser with Cary software executive James Goodnight and met with the news media.

“We have a choice,” Ryan told reporters outside Big Ed’s. “Do we want to go on the current path we are on, that President (Barack) Obama has put us on – a nation of debt, a nation of doubt and a nation of decline with a terrible jobs result.”

“Or are we going to elect a new president who will tackle these fiscal problems, who will get the economy turned around who will get job creation and who will prevent a debt crisis so our kids will have a debt-free nation and our seniors can rely on the promises that have been promised to them,” he continued.

During the news conference, he was frequently interrupted by Frances Lippette, a protester who carried a Democratic Party sign reading “Say No to Romney-Ryan Budget,” who said loudly “blah, blah, blah.’’

Ryan quipped, “We’re used to that where I come from,” referring to the raucous politics of Wisconsin which on Tuesday is having a recall election for its Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Democrats counter Ryan

Just minutes after Ryan’s discussion at Big Ed’s, the Democrats responded with a sidewalk news conference a few blocks away at the Wilmoore Cafe.

Congressman Brad Miller said it just a little over a decade ago the U.S. was running at a big surplus. But he said a Republican president with the help of a Republican Congress ran up a deficit mainly by cutting taxes for the wealthy – something they are now proposing to do more of.

“They promised there would be explosive economic growth if that happened,” Miller said.

Dan Blue III, the Wake County Democratic Party chairman, said Romney raised taxes as governor “over 1,000 times” when fees are included. He said Massachusetts plummeted to 47th in job growth during his tenure during the same time when North Carolina ranked 13th and that “hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents fled the state.”

House OKs gambling bill

Even though the vote didn’t change much, the House spent an hour debating legislation to enable a Cherokee gambling compact.

The House gave final approval on the legislation – SB582 – by a 68-49 vote. It passed an initial vote by 66-49 last week. It now goes to the Senate, which approved a previous version by a wide margin earlier this year.

The measure allows the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians to build two casinos on its land in five western North Carolina counties and add Las Vegas-style live-dealer games such as blackjack, poker and roulette. The state would receive a small percentage of the revenue each year.

Supporters cited a study showing live dealers could add 400 jobs to the current Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. But critics cited the ills of gambling and morality.

“This is not about jobs; this is about gambling,” said Rep. Edgar Starnes, a Republican. “If we go down this road ... where does it stop?”

Anti-Obama ad appears

Crossroads GPS, the super PAC associated with former Bush White House advisor Karl Rove, began airing a new TV ad in North Carolina Tuesday that focuses on the national debt.

Called the “stop watch,” the ad criticizes the Obama administration for failing to address the national debt.

The group said the ad is slated to run two weeks at a cost of $654,000 and is the third spot in an anti-Obama ad campaign in North Carolina costing $2.7 million.

Besides North Carolina, the new ad is running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Adam Hodge, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said: “Karl Rove’s newest deceptive ad reminds of what he and Mitt Romney have in common – zero credibility when it comes to debt. Because of the policies of the last administration – massive tax cuts that weren’t paid for, two wars that weren’t paid for, and the effects of the recession – President Obama entered office facing the largest deficit relative to the economy since World War II.’’

Staff writers John Frank and Rob Christensen

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