CEDAR RAPIDS, IA -- Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke to a larger-than-expected crowd here on Tuesday, where he attacked President Barack Obama's economic record.
"Jimmy Carter was fired in 1980 and Ronald Reagan was hired, and if you look at his jobs record, Obama was even worse than Jimmy Carter," the Wisconsin congressman told the crowd at Kirkwood Community College.
Ryan's speech began at 4:10 p.m. in the same building that Obama spoke at in July. Officials had to turn people away, saying the venue had reached capacity.
The 25-minute speech was billed as a "victory rally," addressing the question: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, asked that very question to the crowd before introducing Ryan. The crowd responded with an audible, "No."
"Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will create 12 million new jobs in this country in four years," he said.
The event was completely closed off shortly after 3:30 p.m. by the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, according to a Romney campaign volunteer. A crowd of about 30 people gathered outside to listen to the speech from a loudspeaker.
Many in line waiting left immediately, including one man who said he had driven 300 miles to see Ryan speak. When he learned that he was not allowed in, he threw his printed ticket on the ground and left.
Ryan’s visit has been highly anticipated since his speech during Wednesday's Republican National Convention became a hot topic after fact-checkers pointed out a number of inaccuracies.
The Washington Post cited Ryan as saying:
"Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: 'I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years,’" he said, according to the Post, adding, "Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year."
Ryan distanced himself from that comment on Tuesday, when he said he really was blaming Obama for not re-opening the plant, rather than being responsible for its closing.