Ryan, Biden on stump; Romney, Obama eye Wednesday’s debate

With both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney off the campaign trail on Saturday, the vice presidential candidates had the day’s political spotlight to themselves, with Paul Ryan speaking to supporters in New Hampshire and Joseph R. Biden stumping for votes in Florida.

Wrapping up a two-day swing through the Sunshine State with a rally in Fort Myers, Mr. Biden told a crowd of about 2,000 that the Republican ticket is out of touch with average Americans.

“When they talk about the culture of dependency, I don’t recognize the country they’re talking about.” the vice president said. “The American people are so much better, so much stronger, take so much more responsibility than these guys give them credit for.”

Mr. Biden, wearing a short-sleeved golf shirt, said Republicans have tried to avoid taking responsibility for their role in the decisions that led up to the recession.

“They talk about this Great Recession as if it just fell from the sky. As my granddaughter says, ‘Who did it? Was it Casper the Ghost?’”

Mr. Ryan, speaking in Derry, N.H., appeared alongside GOP congressmen Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta in a gymnasium at Pinkerton Academy.

“In the Live Free or Die State, we want to live free and prosper,” Mr. Ryan told supporters. “When President Obama came into office, he inherited a tough situation. There’s no two ways about it. But the problem is the Obama economic agenda failed not because of the stocks; it failed because it was passed.”

Mr. Ryan had another event set for later Saturday in Ohio.

Mr. Obama has a campaign event scheduled Sunday in Nevada with Sen. John Kerry, who is playing the role of Mr. Romney in the Obama campaign’s debate preparations. The president is expected to stay in Nevada before flying to Denver for Wednesday’s debate.

The Romney campaign told CNN that the candidate and Sen. Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who is playing Mr. Obama in the Republican’s debate dress rehearsals, will travel to Colorado on Monday, with a rally scheduled Monday night.

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