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Paul Ryan Compares Auto Industry Struggles in Michigan, Wisconsin

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(ROCHESTER, Mich.) --  In Mitt Romney’s home state, Paul Ryan held a rally Monday in front of one of his largest crowds on the campaign trail and tailored his remarks for the Michigan audience, comparing job losses in his home state of Wisconsin to the auto industry’s struggles in Michigan.

“We lost four auto factories in the area I represent in just the last four years,” Ryan said.  "We lost our plant, our GM plant in Janesville, our Chrysler Kenosha plant, we lost two Delphi plants in Oak Creek.  Trust me, I come from Detroit West.  We know we need a healthy auto sector.  I come from a GM town, and as we said in Janesville, we've always said -- as GM goes, so goes Janesville."  

"Well, we've all gotten knocked down.  We've seen some carnage in the auto sector," he continued.  "Know this: We want the strongest auto sector.  We lost 38,000 manufacturing jobs just in the last two months.  Over 10,000 of them came from auto.  The good news is if you put the right people in place and get the right policies in place, we can turn this around.”

At a fundraiser earlier Monday in Pontiac, Mich., Ryan first made the comments about the auto industry and thanked the donors who paid between $1,000 and $50,000 for “helping” to “communicate this to our fellow Michiganders and Wisconsinites.”

The Obama campaign sent out an aggressive response to Ryan’s comments, saying the “American people have come to expect stunning dishonesty from Congressman Ryan and Mitt Romney, but the truth is their policies would be devastating for middle class families.”

“Ryan told supporters that Romney knows we need a strong auto industry, but Romney would have just ‘let Detroit go bankrupt,'” Obama spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement, referring to the controversial op-ed Romney wrote for the New York Times in November 2008 where he called for the Michigan auto industry to go through a “structured bankruptcy.”

The GOP vice presidential nominee told reporters on Monday that he thinks his ticket will take the state, adding, “I think we got a really good chance.”  However, polls have the president leading in Michigan and the Romney campaign is not running any television advertising in the state.

Ryan will be in Florida Tuesday for another intense day and a half of debate prep before he faces off against Joe Biden Thursday in the only vice presidential debate, hosted by ABC’s Martha Raddatz.

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