LAKELAND, Fla. - When Congressman Paul Ryan exited the doorway of his jet after landing at Lakeland Linder Airport, he certainly looked pleased to see the small group of supporters who had gathered on the tarmac to greet him.
After all, Ryan had just left New Orleans and the national convention of the American Association of Retired Persons, where he was booed multiple times for his criticism of Obama's healthcare plan and his plan to reform Medicare.
Polk County has one of the highest unemployment rates in Florida, and several business owners turned out to see the Vice-Presidential nominee, even if it was only for a few minutes.
"We need people to get us jobs so that people buy and sell," said John Peters, the owner of a Stanley Steemer franchise in Polk County. "It's just very basic," he said.
Peters and his family were able to shake Ryan's hand and get a photograph next to the representative. But the GOP supporter is hoping a Romney presidency will turn around the stagnant economy.
"If you're business friendly, you're going to grow the economy and people are going to have jobs and everything will take care of itself," Peters said.
Frank Gutierrez, a small business owner in Lakeland, was encouraged to see the vice-presidential candidate on the road meeting with people.
Both Romney and Ryan had been noticeably absent from battleground states until Wednesday, when Romney himself made an appearance in Miami, and Sarasota on Thursday. Now Ryan is in Florida, headed to a fundraiser in Lake Wales.
"It is important for them to make the rounds," Gutierrez said. "To be visible to someone like me and to other small business owners."
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