One day after the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan will do what’s become second nature to White House aspirants this year: They’ll head to Virginia.

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally with his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), left, in September. (Al Behrman/AP)

Their appearance in Virginia, particularly on the heels of the high-stakes debate, underscores the state’s importance in the presidential contest, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) said Wednesday.

Romney and Ryan have made multiple visits to the commonwealth, as have President Obama and Vice President Biden. Obama is scheduled to appear in Vienna on Friday.

“I think the fact that governor Romney and congressman Ryan scheduled their first stop after the Republican convention in Richmond, the fact that now one of their first stops after the first presidential debate will be back in Virginia, shows how critically important our state is to electing the next president and vice president of the United States,” Bolling said in a conference call with reporters.

The call was meant to draw attention to Biden’s unscripted comments Tuesday, when the vice president referred to the middle class as having been “buried the last four years.”

“Starting today, that’s what we want the debate and this campaign to be about,” Bolling said. “We want it to be about how president Obama’s failed policies are burying the middle class and about how the policies advocated by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will help the middle class start digging out and get back on their feet again.”

As Republicans leaped on Biden’s comments Tuesday, Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith called the move “another desperate and out-of-context attack from the Romney campaign.

“As the Vice President has been saying all year and again in his remarks today, the middle class was punished by the failed Bush policies that crashed our economy — and a vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is a return to those failed policies,” Smith said in a written statement. “With more than five million private-sector jobs created since 2010, the Vice President and President Obama will continue to help the middle class recover and move the nation forward.”