Paul Ryan will speak in Fort Collins, not on Colorado State campus

With a 20 minute drive and a jaunt across Interstate 25, students can go see Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan speak on Wednesday.Ryan will host a Victory Town Hall meeting at Walker Manufacturing on 5925 E. Harmony Road. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the event will begin at 11:30 a.m.

The location might seem like a far cry from President Barack Obama’s on-campus speech Aug. 28. While Obama spoke to students on campus, they must drive to see Ryan.

But according to the Romney campaign, the location for Ryan’s speech does not indicate that Republicans are ignoring the student voice this election.

“Of course he (Romney) cares about students. … We want to get out the vote on campus as much as possible,” said Chris Walker, a spokesman for the campaign. “It’s an absolutely important voting bloc.”

The event’s location is south of Fort Collins in the small agricultural community of Timnath. Walker Manufacturing, the business hosting Ryan, manufactures farming equipment.

Walker said he did not know any specifics on why the location was selected, but did say that its large venue would be able to accommodate Fort Collins’ big community.

Brad Dick, president of the College Republicans at CSU, said it was an appropriate location.

“The election is about the economy, small businesses and getting Americans back to work,” Dick said. “[The location] is a perfect example of what a small business is.”

Many of the College Republicans at CSU plan to attend the event, Dick said.

The location’s distance from campus deterred some students, like sophomore business finance major Brandon Sobotka, from attending.

“It kind of indicates that CSU students aren’t his (Ryan’s) target audience,” Sobotka said. “Each campaign takes different strategies. Obama targeted CSU students specifically, but that’s not the Romney/Ryan campaign strategy. I wouldn’t take it personally.”

Colorado is an important swing state, and the election is neck and neck, according to Walker. Leading up to the election, the Romney campaign will undoubtedly have a presence in the state.

“There will be a lot of opportunities to be in Colorado as well as specific towns,” Walker said. “It just depends on the travel schedule. I anticipate they’ll be in Colorado and in the area again absolutely between now and the election.”

Romney and Ryan have made a number of stops in Colorado already, including Denver and Pueblo. Ryan will travel to Colorado Springs immediately following the Fort Collins event.

“The Romney/Ryan campaign can not afford to not come to Colorado,” said Kelsey Maez, president of the CSU College Democrats. “I’m surprised it’s not sooner and not Romney.”

While the event will not specifically cater to students, issues with the economy and unemployment especially affect those graduating.  According to Dick, Ryan needs to make a strong argument that the Romney campaign has a plan to combat the past four years’ economic difficulties.

“Across the board, more important than anything is jobs and the economy,” Walker said.
“… Students resonate with the idea that when they graduate they want to find a job, and they haven’t been able to find a job in the Obama economy. They don’t want to move back into their parents’ basement.”