While many at Thursday's rally for GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said they were familiar with his political ideas, going to the event was all about seeing the the newly minted GOP vice presidential candidate in the flesh.
Nearly 2,000 people turned out at Walsh University on Thursday to get a glimpse of the 42-year-old congressman and hear first-hand about his ideas and political philosophy.
Ryan is on his second day of visits to small Ohio colleges. He made a campaign stop Wednesday at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in solidly Republican Butler County. Ryan graduated from Miami University in 1992, the New York Times reports.
The congressman from Wisconsin is less than a week out from being tapped as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate.
Many at Thursday's rally were college students. Ryan made a clear pitch to them early on by saying, "Obama has been more concerned with the next election than he's been with the next generation."
"Mitt Romney and I will protect and strengthen Medicare and leave it intact for seniors and save it for the next generation," Ryan said.
Ryan's youthfulness is one reason rally attendee Carole Gibson is excited about the GOP presidential ticket. She thinks Ryan's youth makes him a forward-thinking politician.
"I like that he is thinking for the future of my children and not just worried about my age and older," the North Canton resident said while waiting in line to get in to the rally early Thursday. "If we keep going the way we're going, there's not going to be much of a future."
Her daughter, Stephanie Winkler, 20, said she doesn't know a lot about Ryan, but she's excited to learn more about the Romney/Ryan campaign today.
"I know Romney's political stance a little better, but since Ryan's so new, it would be nice to be informed," said Winkler, a Malone University junior majoring in psychology.
Others at Thursday's event said they were thoroughly familiar with the GOP philosophy, but merely wanted to see the 42-year-old congressman in the flesh.
"We're just here to see him in person," said Roy Benedum, 82, of Doylestown.
His wife, Pat Benedum, 75, said Thursday's event was the first time either had come to a political rally. An energized ticket is what brought them there, she said.
"This is the first time in our lives we have ever come to anything like this. And here we are — in our advanced years — because we're so excited."
"I just think he brings a youthful vision in this country in order to save it," Pat Benedum said.
Other attendees said Romeny's choice of Ryan clearly indicates the presidential hopeful's intentions.
"It shows how serious (Romney) is about working on the budget and the economy," said Gary Coyne of Cuyahoga Falls on Romney's veep choice.
Ryan, who is in his seventh term in Congress, is chairman of the House Budget Committee and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee.
He is well known for his conservative plans for reducing the federal budget. In January 2010, Ryan gained attention nationwide after unveiling his “Roadmap for America’s Future.”
Ryan said Thursday, "If we want our country to keep its promises to our seniors and our children, we have to cut spending."
U.S Rep Bob Gibbs, a Republican representing the 18th District, warmed up the crowd at Walsh.
"The problem is this administration is putting barriers up against the people who are trying to take risks and create jobs," Gibbs said.
Also on hand to speak was U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, who represents District 16. "We need plans. We need ideas. We need solutions," he told the crowd.