OLDSMAR, Fla. (AP) — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan criticized the Federal Reserve's newly announced plan to prop up the economy, telling a Tampa Bay crowd Saturday that "sugar high economics" won't help people.
Ryan said the plan to spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage bonds in an effort to keep interest rates low will fail to jump-start the economy, just as President Barack Obama's $787 billion federal stimulus fell short.
"When they do this to our money it undermines the credibility of our money," said Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman. "This may help big banks, it may help Wall Street, but it doesn't help the rest of us who worry about what it's going to cost to fill the gas tank, to cool the house in the summer and heat it in the winter, to buy food."
The Federal Reserve launched its plan to keep interest rates low on Thursday. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney immediately criticized it. Ryan did the same as he spoke to about 2,000 people gathered in a park along Tampa Bay's shoreline.
"We don't need sugar high economics, we don't need synthetic money creation, we need economic growth. We want wealth creation, we don't want to print money," Ryan said.
Both Romney's and Obama's campaigns are heavily targeting Florida, the largest of the tossup states. Florida's 29 electoral votes are a huge part of Romney's victory strategy. Obama carried the state four years ago, but polls show a very close race, with Obama holding a slim edge.
"I think you realize how important your state is to the future of our country," Ryan said.
Ryan pointed out several times that his 78-year-old mother lives in Florida.
"We love this place so much we brought our own Floridian, my mom Betty," said Ryan, who later earned laughs when he said, "We have this rule in Wisconsin: when you turn 65, you've got to move to Florida for the winter. We follow the rule."
Despite chairing the House Budget Committee, Ryan was largely unknown to Florida voters before Romney picked him as his running mate. But for retired police officer Stan Joyce, Ryan's pick sealed his support for Romney.
"He has a good sense of fiscal policy," said Joyce, 49, of Redington Beach, as he stood under a strong sun in 87-degree heat waiting for Ryan. "The choice solidified it for me."
Ryan strongly criticized Obama's economic policies.
"He inherited a difficult situation, but here's the problem — he didn't make things better, he's made things worse," Ryan said. "The Obama economic agenda did not fail because it was stopped, it failed because it was passed. It didn't work."
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