Ashland, Virginia (CNN) – The pomp and circumstance of their inaugural appearance over, Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan moved swiftly to attack President Obama at their second event as running mates Saturday.
Calling Ryan a man "who appeals to the better angels of the American people," Romney said the pair would run a different campaign than Obama, the incumbent.
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"We're not going to besmirch the office of the presidency by succumbing to the kind of attacks and vile and charges that are coming from the Democrats," Romney said.
The two men spoke without the teleprompter they had used at the formal morning announcement, and used their second appearance in a crucial swing state to harshly criticize the president's reelection bid.
"I know that the Democrats are working very hard today," Romney told an audience of 1,500 at a Randolph Macon College gym, saying his opponents were scouring records on his new running mate in hopes of finding a weakness. "They're not going to find anything but they're doing all that work. They're getting ready because their campaign has been all about bringing America's perspective on this race as low as they possibly can make it."
In his remarks, Ryan used his Beltway experience to accuse the president of having "a terrible record" and failing to change the sharply partisan culture in Washington.
"He didn't tack to the middle. He didn't do things that were centrist, he stayed hard left," Ryan said. "He's going to divide and distract this country to win an election by default and you know what? We're not going to fall for that!"
For their part, Democrats moved earlier in the day to tie Romney to the controversial budget plan championed by Ryan in the House. Democrats have accused Ryan of trying to decimate the Medicare program – popular among seniors – with the plan.
"The Romney-Ryan Budget would turn Medicare into a voucher program, make severe cuts to programs like education that would hamper job creation, and repeal health care reform and key protections in Wall Street reform – all to pay for massive tax cuts of millionaires and billionaires," said a statement released by Obama's reelection campaign.
The Republican ticket was next scheduled to speak outside of Washington DC in Manassas, Virginia Saturday night. After events in North Carolina Sunday, a campaign aide said Romney and Ryan would travel to Waukesha, Wisconsin for a rally Sunday evening.
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