CHARLESTON - Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Monday electing Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., to the U.S. Senate is a key step toward undoing job-killing policies and legislation implemented by President Barack Obama.
Ryan's remarks came during a business roundtable discussion in Charleston, where he was stumping for Capito, who is running against West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat, for the Senate seat soon to be vacated by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
Capito said Ryan's visit "means a lot to me but it means a lot to the state," pointing to West Virginia's support of Ryan as a vice presidential candidate in the 2012 presidential election.
U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., answer questions following a roundtable discussion with business leaders Monday in Charleston. (Photo by Michael Erb)
Ryan's visit was intended to drum up support for Capito as well as mobilize Republicans and those unhappy with several of Obama's policies, including the Affordable Care Act and new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, designed to severely limit the emissions of coal-fired power plants.
Ryan said Obama's "unconstitutional" use of executive powers, the overreach of government agencies and the Democrat-controlled Senate blocking Republican discussion and amendments have created a situation in which people cannot fight the current administration.
"The Senate has become a graveyard of any kind of legislation," Ryan said, predicting dire consequences for health care and Medicare if the Affordable Care Act is not changed or repealed, as well as a massive financial crisis in the coming years.
"That's why we need Shelley to win," he said.
Ryan said electing Capito would pave the way for a Republican-controlled Senate, allowing officials to better deal with what he called job-killing rules and regulations designed to destroy the coal industry and give government control over consumer choices.
"We have cronyism in the government these days, and that is government picking winners and losers," he said.
While Ryan and Capito were in Charleston Monday afternoon, Tennant was campaigning in Shepherdstown with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
The two rallied Democrats and support for Tennant as part of a statewide campaign on education issues, including the cost of higher education and loan debt among college graduates.
Ryan Monday blasted Warren, saying she was helping to block legislation intended to preserve coal and energy jobs.
"Elizabeth Warren is the left of the left of the Democratic Party. Elizabeth Warren is part of the war on coal," he said. "I stand with Shelley Moore Capito because I know she stands with people of West Virginia and I know she is going to be a vote in the United States Senate to protect the jobs here in this great state."
Capito, however, did not answer a question concerning whether she believed Tennant, too, was "part of the war on coal." She and other speakers were quickly ushered out of the room after only a few questions.
In the days leading up to Ryan's visit, Tennant heavily criticized the congressman's plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program. Before Warren's visit, Tennant publicly said she disagrees with and would oppose Warren's support of EPA regulations on coal-fired power plants.