(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama and newly minted GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan squared off Monday in the swing state of Iowa, with just six electoral votes but nevertheless important in a closely contested race.
Obama called Ryan the “the ideological leader of Republicans in Congress,” who wants to “end Medicare as we know it,” but he did call Ryan “a good man.” Just over an hour later in the same state, Ryan said the president “is making matters worse, and he is spending our children into a diminished future.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his selection of Ryan – a seven-term House member from Wisconsin – on Saturday.
Ryan spoke to an enthusiastic crowd at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, stressing his state’s proximity. Some audience members who were not supporters became rowdy and were either removed by police or warned.
Ryan laid out the five-step plan for the Republican ticket that he said would create 12 million new American jobs. These steps included achieving energy independence through alternative and traditional energy sources and greater manufacturing and exports.
Ryan, known for his budget expertise as the House Budget Committee chairman and member of the House Ways and Means Committee, also criticized Obama for increased deficit spending.
“We need to stop spending money we don’t have,” Ryan said. “President Obama has given us four years of trillion dollar plus deficits. He is making matters worse, and he is spending our children into a diminished future. We don’t have to stand for that. We’re not going to stand for that.”
Ryan added that part of the Romney plan would mean a more competitive tax system to help American small businesses.
“President Obama is telling America’s successful small businesses that he wants their top tax rate to go as high as 44 percent,” Ryan said. “The Canadians just lowered their tax rate to all of their businesses in January to 15 percent. How on earth are our successful small businesses going to compete when we have other countries lowering their tax rates like that?
“We need to make sure we get rid of the loopholes, rid of the deductions, lower everybody’s tax rates so our businesses can survive and not keep taxing small businesses and spending that money in Washington,” Ryan added.
Obama spoke to supporters at Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Monday.
“Mitt Romney chose as his running mate the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress,” Obama said. “And I’ve got to tell you, I know Congressman Ryan. He’s a good man. He’s a family man. He is an articulate spokesman for Gov. Romney’s vision.”
The vision is the problem, Obama said.
“But the problem is that vision is one that I fundamentally disagree with. Gov. Romney and his allies in Congress, they think if we just get rid of more regulations on big corporations and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, if we end Medicare as we know it, make it a voucher system, then somehow this is all going to lead to jobs and prosperity for everybody.”
The most recent poll of Iowa voters, done on Aug. 8 of 500 likely voters, found that Romney holds a two-point lead over Obama, 48 percent to 46 percent, well within the 4.5 percent margin of error.
A RealClearPolitics average of Iowa polls going back to May finds Obama leading Romney by one percent.