Hometown Sendoff for Paul Ryan


A packed high school gymnasium in Janesville gave Paul Ryan a sendoff worthy of a pep rally as he prepares to head to Tampa for the Republican National Convention.

Ryan at times sounded choked up as he spoke from the center of the gym floor at the high school where he graduated in 1988. “It is so good to be home. You know, I think I recognize just about every face in this room.”

Flanked by family and friends, and welcomed by cheerleaders from Janesville Craig High School, Ryan described Janesville as a place where people looked out for one another. He ticked off a list of local charities. “You know they call it civil society. I call it Janesville, Wisconsin. And, what is important is that our government respects this, that our government honors this. That our government works for the people and not the other way around, so that we can do this.”

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Among Ryan’s admirers in the crowd today was Janesville resident Don Nelson, who said it is exciting to think that someone from his hometown could be vice president. Nelson loves Ryan’s message, especially the way he champions entrepreneurs. “I just think he’s positive, everything that he’s talking about is what I’m in favor of.”

Outside the gymnasium, protesters shouted that Ryan’s policies would only benefit the wealthy. Randy Bryce of Racine said he had heard this was a sendoff. Bryce said, “That’s why we’re here. To send him off and let him know when he’s stepping off that plane that not everybody agrees with what he’s done.”

Ryan’s speech was billed elsewhere as a preview of the one he will give when he travels to the Republican National Convention in Tampa to accept his party’s nomination for vice president.