LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Congressman Paul Ryan, (R, Wisconsin) the GOP Nominee for Vice President, spoke to supporters with a different message than we're used to hearing from both Presidential campaigns in recent weeks.
Local Republicans say that's because Ryan's visit Tuesday wasn't a campaign stop.
"Congressman Ryan was very gracious," said Julian Bradley, Chair of La Crosse County's Republican Party. "He reminded people there are things more important than an election."
Ryan thanked Republican supporters for putting together a food drive that will now help those devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
"Let's keep the people who are suffering in our hearts, in our thoughts and our prayers," Ryan said. "Let's say a special prayer for those people who lost their lives in this storm I just want to thank everybody for coming together and doing this -- for putting together these care packages. We're doing this in victory centers around the country, especially on the East Coast."
"I think Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama stepping back and saying we need to protect our people in the midst of this natural disaster and give them what they need to move forward, it's the right thing to do," said Sue Lynch, a former president of the National Federation of Republican Women. "It's right to step back a little bit and deal with the issues that we're faced with."
Although Dr. Tim Dale, a professor of political science at the UW-La Crosse, said it's unlikely the two presidential campaigns have been altered much as a result of the severe storm out east.
"Evidence shows voters who haven't made their mind up a week before an election aren't going to vote," Dale said, "and aren't going to change their mind based on more campaigning from the candidates."
"So we see the candidates, even if there wasn't a disaster going on, just making their final stops in a few places," Dale said. "The campaigns are usually winding down during the last week or so."
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