Wisconsin politician and newly selected Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan was in The Villages yesterday to speak to the thousands of Northern retirees who live in the massive central Florida community. The Republican candidate reassured these aged Yankees that Mitt Romney and he would prevent any cuts to their favourite government programs. Chris Moody has the story for Yahoo News:
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan wrapped his first solo tour as Mitt Romney’s running mate at the famous retirement community here Saturday, taking his message of Medicare reform to seniors in a crucial swing state.
Standing between two signs that read “Protect and Strengthen Medicare,” Ryan made the most personal case for overhauling Medicare yet during his time on the campaign trail. With his mother, 78-year-old Betty Ryan Douglas, standing near him on the stage, Ryan discussed how the Medicare program has played a role in his own family’s life.
“Like a lot of Americans, when I think of Medicare, it’s not just a program. It’s not just a bunch of numbers. It’s what my mom relies on. It’s what my grandma had,” Ryan said. He told of how his grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and moved into his mother’s home when he was in high school. “Medicare was there for our family, for my grandma, when we needed it then. And Medicare is there for my mom while she needs it now and we have to keep that guarantee.”
Hundreds of seniors from the neighborhood came out in support of Ryan, while a few protestors stood on the outskirts holding signs against against Ryan’s Medicare plan. A small plane flew over the rally carrying a banner reading, “Paul Ryan: Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare!”
The Villages, where Ryan spoke, was founded as a colony of elderly Yankees back in the 1960s by Harold Schwartz, a Michigan businessman. It has since grown to enormous size, becoming one of the prime places for Yankees to await death, thousands of miles from their native culture, homes, families and friends.