HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan began a furious schedule of campaign rallies Tuesday, calling for change in the White House during a Las Vegas-area stop before an overflow outdoor pavilion crowd that campaign organizers put at more than 6,000.
Fresh from his Monday evening debate with President Barack Obama in Florida, Romney sounded familiar themes and asked if voters can afford four more years of Democratic policies.
"His idea of growing the economy is raising taxes," Romney said in a lunch-hour speech that lasted about 18 minutes. "Does anyone believe raising taxes creates jobs?"
"No!" the crowd answered.
Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin whose budget proposals include privatizing Medicare, spoke only briefly. He introduced Romney as a man with the "demeanor, temperament and skills" to lead the country.
"Can you afford four more years?" Romney asked.
In a nod to Nevada's longtime position during the recession as the national leader in unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures, Romney promised to get Nevada unemployment down to 6 percent during his first term.
"I want four years when we're able to see rising take-home pay again," he said.
The crowd booed when Romney mentioned the Obama health care reform law, and many rose to applaud loudly when Romney said he wants to repeal it.
The crowd cheered when Romney said he wants to keep the American military the strongest in the world, and cheered again when Romney noted that the Obama campaign took contributions from teachers' unions.
Romney, who has agreed with Obama that the federal No Child Left Behind education law needs revisions, said he has taken no contributions from teachers' unions. He won applause when he said he wants to put children, parents and teachers first, "and the teachers' unions behind."
Romney and Ryan departed for a Tuesday rally in the Denver area featuring entertainers Kid Rock and Rodney Atkins before Romney returns to Reno on Wednesday.
Obama, meanwhile, is slated to speak in six states during a two-day trip that begins Wednesday and includes a campaign rally featuring pop singer Katy Perry at a park near downtown Las Vegas.