By JULIE PACE
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Even before Paul Ryan takes the stage at the Republican convention, President Barack Obama’s campaign is seeking to cast the GOP running mate as “out of step” with American voters.
The Obama campaign released an online video Wednesday targeting Ryan as a politician from a “bygone era.” The video criticizes Ryan for being the architect of a budget that would overhaul Medicare and for seeking to defund Planned Parenthood.
Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman, is due to address the GOP convention Wednesday night. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will speak to delegates in Tampa, Fla., and a prime-time audience across the country, on Thursday.
Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck said the video was a “tired and misleading” attack by Obama “in an attempt to divert attention away from his failed record.”
Ryan is considered a hero of conservatives. His addition to the Republican ticket has energized voters and even Romney himself. The buttoned-up GOP presidential nominee often appears more at ease when campaigning alongside the youthful Ryan.
Obama is traveling Wednesday to Charlottesville, Va., the last stop on his two-day trip to counter the GOP convention message and to appeal to younger voters in college towns.
Both parties were pushing forward with their political plans while closely monitoring Hurricane Isaac, which arrived in Louisiana late Tuesday. Republicans had largely canceled the first day of their convention as Isaac appeared bound for Tampa. White House officials said they were monitoring the storm but, as of early Wednesday, had no plans to adjust the president’s travel plans.
Obama on Tuesday made stops at Iowa State University and Colorado State University, where he reminded students returning to class that they hold a unique power to determine the election.
“I just want all of you to understand your power. Don’t give it away — not when you’re young,” Obama told about 13,000 people gathered in Colorado. “Right now, America is counting on you. And I’m counting on you.”
In Colorado and Iowa, Obama told the students they had much at stake in the Nov. 6 presidential election, panning Romney as a candidate without a plan to move the country forward. “Last week my opponents’ campaign went so far as to write you off as a lost generation. That’s you according to them,” the president said in Iowa, referring to a Romney news release last week that referred to college students as the “Obama Economy’s Lost Generation.”
“What they hope is that by telling you these things, you’ll get discouraged and you’ll just stay home this time,” Obama said in Ames, Iowa. “But you can’t believe it. I don’t believe it.”
Romney’s campaign dismissed Obama’s remarks, saying he had “brought the same policies to Iowa that have failed to help young Americans across the country” and left many of them “facing higher unemployment, mounting debt, rising costs and fewer opportunities.”
Obama’s campaign had hoped the president would speak Wednesday at the University of Virginia. But the school rejected their request, saying it would disrupt classes on the second day of the semester. Obama was instead scheduled to speak in a public area near the university.