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Paul Ryan sets his sights on Obama

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DENVER, Colo. — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is expected to target President Obama on two key issues — energy and housing — at a pair of campaign events out West on Tuesday.

First, Ryan will deliver remarks on the theme of energy independence at a morning rally in Lakewood, Colo. There, he is expected to make the case that, if elected, he and running mate Mitt Romney “will pursue an all-of-the-above energy approach that will create more jobs and help put us on a path toward energy independence,” according to a campaign aide who requested anonymity to preview the remarks.

The visit will mark Ryan’s first to the swing state since being tapped to serve as Romney’s running mate. And it comes as both campaigns have been campaigning heavily in the state, which Obama won by nine points in 2008 but which Romney now stands a chance of pulling into the GOP column, according to recent polls.

Tuesday evening, in Las Vegas, Ryan will focus on the issue of housing. In one of the states hardest-hit by foreclosure, the Wisconsin congressman is expected to outline the steps Romney would take to revitalize the housing market. He’s also expected to criticize Obama’s leadership, arguing that the administration’s “endless hodgepodge of government programs have been marked by bad incentives for borrowers and endless bailouts for banks,” according to the aide.

Ryan may find himself hard-pressed on the last point, however, as he was one of 91 House Republicans — including the House GOP leadership — who voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program in fall 2008.

The events will provide a further test of Ryan’s skills as a solo campaigner on the national stage as well as his ability to contend with the unexpected. He reacted with calm when he was met by aggressive hecklers at a Monday campaign event at the Iowa State Fair, the second straight day of a disruption at a Romney/Ryan event.

Also on Tuesday, the Romney campaign will relaunch its “America Deserves Better” TV ad in Iowa, a move aimed at bracketing the second day of Obama’s three-day campaign trip to the Hawkeye State.

Ryan is expected to round out his first week on the trail with campaign events in Oxford, Ohio, on Wednesday; Canton and Youngstown on Thursday; and Richmond and Fairfax, Va., on Friday, returning to the state exactly a week after he was announced as Romney’s running mate.

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