Dover, New Hampshire (CNN) - On Tuesday Rep. Paul Ryan was encouraged to "take the gloves off" at a New Hampshire town hall that included questions about dependency on government but there was no mention of running mate Mitt Romney's comments about the "47 percent."
The Republican vice presidential nominee focused instead on their opponent President Barack Obama.
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"You see, by going after the root causes of poverty and trying to break the cycle of poverty, you need economic growth, you need job creation, you need higher take-home pay," Ryan said.
With the nation's $16 trillion-plus debt being calculated on a large sign next to him, Paul, a seven-term congressman who serves as House Budget Committee chairman, slammed the Democratic administration for creating what he described a "government-centered society with a government-driven economy."
"This is what Mitt and I are talking about when we are worried about more and more people becoming net dependent on the government than upon themselves. Because by promoting more dependency, by not having jobs and economic growth, people miss their potential," Paul said in Dover.
"We should not be measuring the progress of our social programs – programs like food stamps – based upon how many people receive them. We should be measuring the progress of our social programs by how many people we transition off of them into lives of self-sufficiency and jobs and upward mobility."
A former state party chairman drew thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the more than 400 people in the audience when he urged Mitt Romney's running mate to be more aggressive in the remaining 49 days in the presidential election.
"I think it is time to take the gloves off," said Jack Kimball, a businessman and former New Hampshire GOP chairman. "The country is thirsting for this, believe me. All of the people in here are thirsting for this."
He continued, "In the `Live Free or Die' state and all the prior military men and active duty folks are thirsting for this. You got six or seven weeks. We know you can do it. We have to have the two of you in office. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it."
Ryan's response was brief before he moved onto the next question. "Thank you. We can do this," he said.
Former state party chairman Kimball, who enjoys tea party support but was pressured to resign his post last year by top New Hampshire Republican officials, said he met with the candidate and a few others prior to the Dover town hall.
"The only reason why he moved on quickly was because I had already had the conversation a little earlier with him one on one. It was just reaffirmation," Kimball said in an interview with CNN. "He made sure to let me know that they plan to go on the offensive from now and all the way to Nov. 6 so that was good news."
"I think Barack Obama has provided a lot of ammunition for our candidates to use and I think that they need to come out and stay on the offensive from now until November 6," he said. "I think they can be more aggressive, there's no question, and clearly I feel that's exactly what they're going to do from this point forward."
At his second event of the day, in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, Ryan held a rally before approximately 2,000 people at Christopher Newport University in Newport News. He described what he believes is at stake in November.
"It's more than simply creating jobs and growing the economy. This election is not just an economic election. This is an identity election. It's about the American identity," Ryan said Tuesday evening. "It really kind of comes down to what kind of people do we want to be? What kind of country do we want to have? This is that big of an election."