Obama attacks Ryan as contest heats up

Obama attacks Ryan as contest heats up

Obama attacks Ryan as contest heats up

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (L) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wave to the crowd in Waukesha, Wisconsin. ABACA photo

U.S. President Barack Obama dubbed Paul Ryan as the “ideological leader” of congressional Republicans, in an opening salvo on Aug. 12 against Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.

“Just yesterday, my opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of Republicans in Congress, Mr. Paul Ryan. I want to congratulate Mr. Ryan. I know him, I welcome him to the race,” Obama said at a fundraiser in Chicago, speaking over boos from some in the audience at the mention of Ryan’s name.

“He’s a decent man. He is a family man. He is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision. But it’s a vision that I fundamentally disagree with,” he said.

The remarks were Obama’s first comments about Republican challenger Romney’s selection of the Wisconsin congressman as his running mate, which has injected new energy into the Republican presidential campaign. But Obama and his fellow Democrats are keen to attack Ryan for his controversial budget plan, which they say would dismantle popular social programs that help the elderly and the poor. Obama mentioned Ryan after complaining about the “top down” economics of Republicans in Washington. “This kind of top down economics is central to Governor Romney and it is central to his running mate,” he said.

I am no Usain Bolt: Obama

Obama also warned supporters that he was no Usain Bolt, and that his re-election bid would be a fight all the way to the finish line, not an easy jog to victory.

The president predicted a tight struggle with Republican Mitt Romney as he asks voters for a second term. “This is not going to be a race like Usain Bolt where we’re like meters ahead and we can just kind of start jogging three meters before the finish line,” Obama said referencing the Jamaican legend, who has won the 100 meters and 200 meters sprint double at the last two Olympics.

“We’re going to have to run through the tape. But we’re really well positioned to not just win but to keep America moving forward.”

Compiled from Reuters and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.