Although a handful of students weren't allowed to attend a speech by Mitt Romney running mate Paul Ryan yesterday, thousands of others crowded into Lakewood High School to hear Ryan speak. Here's what ten of those attending said about why they were there. Noelle Tarabulski, 52, owner of a building and consulting group "Paul Ryan is an intellectual that is not a political elite, but rather a well-balanced family man who is sensible and cares about all of us. He cares about the next generation. I'm afraid for the people that are younger than thirty.... I think Paul Ryan is awesome. He doesn't get into the emotional mudslinging and embarrassing [politics].... He understands the dynamics and mechanisms of Washington." Susan Ford, 59, housewife "I care about this country and I'm worried about the direction we are going. He's a family person, and I'm a religious person. He's also been in Congress a long time.... I'm so psyched [he came here]. I know Colorado is a swing state." Teresa Molter, 47, retired human-resources worker "I absolutely love it. He's very articulate. He has big ideas. I'm glad Romney didn't just choose 'yes men' to surround him. It shows good leadership on his part. Joe Biden is a 'yes man....' We believe in equal opportunity, not equal outcome. That's a powerful statement." Alex Brito, 21, enlisted in the Air Force "Honestly, I'm here to learn more about him. I think he'll be able to get...younger individuals to vote. The younger crowd often wants to go to Obama, because that's what's popular now...but [Paul Ryan] is good at breaking things down. He just makes the point very clearly." Page down to read comments from more Paul Ryan supporters. Don Jennings, 64, retired insurance company manager, with granddaughter Aubryn Elmore, 2 "I love him. He's articulate and he holds the mainstream values that we still hold in America. I don't think you could've done better than him.... He's firing up the conservative and Republican base...and the independents as well. He's very likable and he's very honest." Bruce Gibson, veteran of foreign wars "I think he's energized the ticket and stands to bring the country together. He's against class divisionism. He's against economic divisionism. He wants to bring the country together -- all of the United States of America.... He's proud to show that accomplishments should not be demonized. People like me have been following Ryan for some time. He...[gives] a voice to a lot of people, the silent majority." Abel Taye, 33, nonprofit international relations coordinator "I'm really excited. I can't wait to see what he has to say.... I'm enthusiastic about [Paul Ryan]. He's young. He represents a generational shift. You can't find anything about him that says he's not qualified.... And he's good with numbers.... Paul Ryan is a guy with substance. He clearly solidifies the ticket." Page down to read comments from more Paul Ryan supporters. Nadine Smith, 70, retired school psychologist "I think he's really put a boost in the Romney camp. People are more excited. Just look at the big turnout here. I think it's awesome.... It really is a tight race, and I sure hope they do win. This shows that a lot of people support him. If they can just keep up the excitement...[they'll win]." Dan Schlachtenhaufen, 65, retired insurance salesman and Romney volunteer "We're all fired up and excited about [Paul Ryan]. We need change. Obama promised change and he failed. We need change again.... We need financial responsibility. That's what we haven't had in government for the last four years." Sharon Patrick, 71, retired government worker "[Paul Ryan] is refreshing. He's got good ideas. He's not afraid to fight.... I think he is a great, great selection for vice president.... They will complement each other with their beliefs. He's a hard worker.... We need to get this country out of this mess."
More from our Politics archive: "Photos: Jared Polis wears his love for Boing Boing"
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