ADEL, Iowa, and CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Paul Ryan today tried to separate President Obama and former President Bill Clinton, who will deliver a prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention tonight.
GOP candidate for vice president, Paul Ryan, delivers remarks to supporters in Adel, Iowa.
"My guess is we will get a great rendition of how good things were in the 1990s, but we’re not going to hear much about how things have been the last four years,” Ryan told the crowd outside the Dallas County Courthouse. “And, by the way, under President Clinton, we got welfare reform. Chuck Grassley, everybody else in Congress -- we got welfare reform, which moved people from welfare to work to get people out of poverty. President Obama is rolling back welfare reform.”
But the Obama campaign tells NBC News that Clinton's speech will actually draw "parallels" between Clinton's approach on the economy and President Obama's.Ryan added: “President Clinton worked with Republicans in Congress to have a budget agreement, to cut spending. President Obama? A gusher of new spending and only demagoguery from those of us who have offered solutions.”
Clinton pursued "exactly the approach President Obama is taking today," a top campaign official said, adding that Clinton and Obama will "echo each other over the next few days."
This is not the first time the Wisconsin congressman has mentioned the 42nd president -- who has become a top surrogate for Obama -- on the campaign trail.
In Bloomfield Hills, Mich., last month, Ryan explained again to attendees at a high-dollar fundraiser that while Obama and Clinton were both democratic presidents, they have very different approaches.
Obama “can’t run on his record, he didn’t moderate his positions like Bill Clinton did, he went hard to the left,” the Republican VP nominee said.
Former President Clinton delivers the nominating speech at the convention this evening in Charlotte, N.C., the night before President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden formally accept their party’s nominations for the November election.
“We are going to hear a lot of things in Charlotte," Ryan said Wednesday, "but we are not going to hear a convincing argument that we are better off than we were four years ago."
Speaking in the Hawkeye State for the second day in a row, Ryan appeared in a small town outside Des Moines and pleaded with the roughly 650 people in the attendance to help change the country.
“We need your help," he said. "Iowa is so crucial. Iowans you know this; you are used to this; we need you. You've had everybody running for president in each of your kitchens. We need your help; your country is watching. You have a unique responsibility and a special opportunity to get this country back on the right track and the good news is it's not too late to do that.”
President Obama won the Iowa Democratic caucuses in 2008, essentially launching him as a top-tier candidate. Obama beat Republican challenger John McCain in the general election, 54% to 45%. The most recent polls show Iowa as a dead heat heading into the final two months of the campaign.
While Iowa only yields six electoral votes, both Romney and Obama are spending a great deal of time and resources in the state.