2012 ELECTION

Paul Ryan campaigns in Lynchburg

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Paul Ryan hopped out of a big, black pickup truck and rocked a conservative Virginia Bible-belt crowd by accusing President Barack Obama of weakening the nation's military.

Ryan blasted Obama for supporting the same debt-reduction deal a year ago that he advocated on the House floor last year.

He said Obama is projecting weakness for the nation, emboldening enemies and frightening allies. It delighted a crowd of more than 3,000 people gathered on a hillside under a sunny sky on a crisp fall day in Lynchburg, the heart of the Falwell family's evangelical empire.

Ryan was referring to the August 2011 deficit reduction act that required a bipartisan committee to find $1.5 trillion in savings or have $1.2 trillion automatically cut from the budget in January, half from defense.

State polls show the GOP ticket all but wiping out a lead President Barack Obama held just two weeks ago. 

Virginia's combative conservative Republican attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, was Ryan's warm-up act. He roused a partisan crowd of at least 2,500 by portraying Obama's administration as an outlaw regime.

Cuccinelli, battling for next year's GOP gubernatorial nomination, said he had spent most of his first three years as attorney general "just trying to get this administration to follow the law."

Cuccinelli was among the first attorneys general to sue challenging the constitutionality of the "Obamacare" health reforms.

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