CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mitt Romney's campaign plans to make extensive use of new running mate Paul Ryan in Iowa, a state where Romney's opposition to a federal wind energy tax credit has given Democrats hope they can prevail there.
"We have a number of states that are competitive where we believe he helps us," Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden told reporters on Sunday. "Obviously, his home state of Wisconsin and some of these other Great Lake states. But Iowa in particular, that is a state where I think his life story is important for others, something that I think helps him connect with a lot of those voters there."
Romney's opposition to the wind tax credit has created concern among Iowa Republicans. The credit costs the federal government $1.6 billion annually and is due to expire at the end of this year. About 7,000 people work in the wind-energy sector in Iowa, making it the nation's second-largest wind producing state. The state could lose up to 3,000 jobs if the tax credit is not renewed, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Most recent Hawkeye State polls show Romney and President Obama in a dead heat.
"It's going to be close there, I believe, all the way until Election Day," Madden said. "But we think with the more they get to see of Congressman Ryan, the more they get to hear about the Romney/Ryan message on fixing the economy, that we're going to continue to do well there."
Madden also said that Ryan and Romney would campaign "on different tracks" until the GOP convention. He said Ryan would not make an initial visit to Florida, but denied it had anything to do with the House Budget Committee chairman's controversial plans for reshaping Medicare, which the Obama campaign thinks will turn off seniors in Florida and elsewhere.
"This has more to do with expanding our bandwidth," he said. "Governor Romney is going to be talking about the issues that are important to Floridians. And I think Congressman Ryan’s going to be able to be down in Florida during this campaign and will be doing the same, at some point."