In his second week on the national Republican ticket, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will visit both ends of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, including a rally in the Philadelphia suburbs crucial to Mitt Romney‘s chances of winning statewide.
Ryan’s stop in West Chester follows a whirlwind week in battleground states introducing himself to voters, criticizing President Barack Obama and discussing his plan to overhaulMedicare, the popular federal health program for the elderly.
Ryan will hold a rally at the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester on Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, he’ll be outsidePittsburgh at a steel-supply company in Carnegie, Allegheny County.
Ryan is scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. at Beaver Steel Services and at 1:30 p.m. in West Chester. Both events are open to the public.
His visit to Pennsylvania, a state most political analysts have marked in the Obama column, is fresh off poll results from Franklin & Marshall College last week suggesting the race in the Democrat-leaning state could be tightening. However, Pennsylvania voters have not been surveyed since Romney selected Ryan as his running mate.
In Pennsylvania, a state with one of the nation’s highest elderly populations, Democrats will continue to hammer Ryan on his plan for Medicare that would shift to a voucher-like system, giving seniors the option of using a government subsidy to purchase private insurance or enroll in traditional Medicare.
“Pennsylvania will be anxious to hear how he defends his extreme budget plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher system and raise seniors’ health costs by up to $6,350 a year to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires,” Jen Austin, the Obama campaign’s state spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Last week Ryan defended his Medicare proposal at The Villages, a well-known, Republican-friendly retirement community in central Florida, Ryan stood in front of a campaign banner that read “Protect & Strengthen Medicare” and had by his side his 78-year-old mother, a part-time Florida resident.
He said Medicare isn’t just a program, it’s what his mom relies on.
“Medicare is there for my mom while she needs it now, and we have to keep that guarantee,” he said.