Mitt Romney and his new runningmate Paul Ryan took a re-energized Republican presidential campaign to North Carolina Sunday, vowing to fix the US economy and restore American strength.
"I've got good news for you. And that is that this nation is going to come roaring back," Romney said to enthusiastic applause at a campaign stop in Mooresville, North Carolina on Sunday.
Accusing President Barack Obama of making the US "more and more like Europe," Romney warned that the current course was giving the United States "chronic high unemployment, low wage growth and fiscal calamity right at the door."
"I don't want to be like Europe, I want to be like America," Romney said.
The rally at a NASCAR stock car racing facility here came a day after Romney introduced his vice presidential running mate, Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman known for advocating deep cuts in social spending to bring US debt and deficits under control.
The two were stumping together Sunday in North Carolina and in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, but will then part ways, with Romney traveling solo to the biggest battleground states of all, Florida and Ohio.
"This has more to do with expanding our bandwidth," Romney aide Kevin Madden told reporters.
Madden dismissed suggestions that Ryan -- architect of a budget plan that would overhaul entitlements like Medicare, the government health care program for seniors -- was avoiding Florida because the campaign was concerned about how older voters in the state would react to him and his controversial plan.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, "is going to be talking about... all the issues that are important to Floridians," Madden said.
"Congressman Ryan is going to be able to be down in Florida during this campaign and will be doing the same."
Romney's pick of Ryan as his running mate caused a sensation Saturday, with conservatives praising his choice for electrifying the Republican base and assuring the election will be framed around major issues like the role and size of government.
But it's politically risky, as Ryan's plan remains unpopular with many voters and President Barack Obama has savaged it.
The plan would transform Medicare from a traditional fee-for-service health care system for seniors into a voucher system giving them money to purchase insurance on the private market.
Some experts say the Ryan plan would raise out-of-pocket costs for seniors by as much as $6,000 per year.
Iowa and the bus tour states all voted for Obama in 2008 and helped him win the presidency, and Romney's campaign has described the tour as a trip into the "lion's den in terms of blue voters."
Ryan attends the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Monday, and Madden said the congressman will help drive home "the Romney-Ryan message on fixing the economy."
"It's going to be close there, I believe, all the way until election day," Madden said.