FORT MYERS, Fla. — Wrapping up his first day of a two-day swing through the Sunshine State, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday night seized on former president Bill Clinton's statement from earlier in the day that the economy hasn't been "fixed" under Obama.
The president and his allies have said "a few revealing things lately," Ryan told a crowd of more than 3,000 supporters gathered under the lights of the soccer field at the Lee County Sports Complex in this Republican stronghold.
He pointed to Obama's statement to Univision that he can't change Washington from the inside, and Vice President Biden's remark that the middle class has been "buried" under Obama.
"And just today, president Bill Clinton said that it's true that our economy is not fixed," Ryan said. "He's right. And you know what, if the president can't fix Washington from the inside, if the middle class has been buried for the last four years, and if the economy is not fixed, then it's time we change presidents and elect Mitt Romney the next president of the United States."
Members of the crowd -- many of whom were swatting away bugs and were drenched in sweat after standing outside in the southwest Florida heat for several hours -- responded enthusiastically to Ryan. One man repeatedly yelled, "Fire the liar!" and another cried out, "We want our dreams back!"
Earlier in the evening, musician Lee Greenwood performed for the crowd, and comedian Dennis Miller rallied supporters, poking fun at Biden as he has at other recent stops on behalf of the Romney-Ryan ticket.
Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry also addressed the crowd ahead of Ryan.
He told supporters that at Tuesday night's debate at Hofstra University, during an exchange on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, Obama "couldn't defend his own record and had to turn to the moderator," CNN's Candy Crowley.