As Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan took to a stage just outside of Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning, a gathering crowd loudly chanted, "Here we go, Ryan, here we go." Thousands of supporters attended the rally at Beaver Steel Services, a family-owned business in Rosslyn Farms Borough.
Ryan swung a Terrible Towel as he walked onto the stage and sported it in his back pocket for the remainder of his speech. He spoke about economic growth, creating jobs, the principles of a good leader and "the American Dream."
"What kind of country do we want to be?" Ryan asked. "What kind of people do we want to be?
"We're not just making a decision for what we're going to do for the next four years. We are choosing a path for this country for an entire generation.
"The United States can have a society of prosperity, or stick to a nation of debt, a welfare state of the debt crisis.
"(President Barack) Obama didn't change his tune. He didn't moderate. He went far left. Now, all he has left is to distort, divide and to distract this country, and we're not going to fall for it."
The Miami (OH) University graduate told the audience, which included D. Raja—the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania's 37th Senatorial District seat, which includes —and former U.S. Congresswoman Melissa Hart, "America is more than just a country. America is an idea.
"Our rights, they come from nature and God, not from government."
As the sounds of steelwork echoed in the background, the crowd cheered and waved American flags. A child held a sign that read, "Kids 4 Ryan."
The Wisconsin Congressman told his supporters that it is "not too late to turn things around."
He continued, "Here, with the commitment that Mitt Romney and I are making together, we will not govern tough issues; we will lead. We will unify and take responsibility—not blame others. This is the most important election in your lifetime. It's not too late to get it right."
Ryan said that he is proud to stand with Romney, who, he said, "is an honest leader."
"There is no other system than the system of freedom," Ryan said.
Ryan said some that of his "solutions" are to lower tax rates for everyone and to create jobs.
"We teach our children that, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead," he said. "When you encourage success, you get more of it."
He also said that there are four key qualities in a good leader: A bedrock of principles, a moral compass, a vision and the ability to execute that vision.
Ryan referenced a remark made by Obama in 2008 when Obama said that some frustrated voters "cling to guns or religion."
Ryan replied, "I'm a Catholic deer hunter, and I'm happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion."
A loud cheer from the crowd ensued.
Ryan used Beaver Steel's owner, Tony Treser, as an example of the "American Dream."
"You're here because you built this," Ryan said, "not because the government did."
Speaking to the crowd on the skills of the country, Ryan said, "We need more jobs so we can grow the (American) pie—so everyone can have a bigger slice."
Proceeding Ryan's speech were declarations from Diana Irey Vaughan, candidate for Pennsylvania treasurer; David Freed, who's running for state attorney general; U.S. Senate candidate Tom Smith; and U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy, whose 18th District runs directly through Baldwin-Whitehall. Murphy was described as a "workout buddy" of Ryan's.
"We need to take the message from here to DC," Murphy said. "We are truly the City of Champions. You're here because you love this country.
"There is no quit in Pittsburgh and no quit in the U.S."
Murphy referred to his friend, Ryan, as a "passionate, patient and patriotic man who is dedicated to his family and friendship."
Nearby, local Democratic elected officials, community leaders and union members held a press conference before Ryan's rally. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Labor Council President Jack Shea and Braddock Borough Mayor John Fetterman discussed Obama's record of creating American jobs and supporting the manufacturing industry.
But the crowd at the Ryan gathering overshadowed them.
Supporter Ed Lawler, of Orlando, FL, traveled to Pittsburgh to hear Ryan speak. The Brooklyn, NY, native said that he was "totally down and really hoping for a change." Lawler said that his spirits changed when Romney announced Ryan as his vice presidential choice.
"If I could design a slogan for the Romney/Ryan campaign, it would read, 'For U.S. (Us): Our Hope Is Changed.'"
Did you attend either gathering? Add your photos to this story by clicking on "Upload Photos and Videos" above.
This article originally appeared on the .
Sign up for the daily Baldwin-Whitehall newsletter.