EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, entering the final week of the race for the White House, urged supporters Wednesday not to give up even as he has adopted a fight-the-good-fight, pep-talk tone in recent days.
"When we wake up a week from this morning, let's make sure we did everything we could," Ryan said. "Let's make sure that we honor our forefathers and we honor the American idea. Let's make sure that we elect leaders."
Ryan's standard campaign speech has taken on an aura of urgency as of late, with the Wisconsin congressman telling voters they should work hard lest they have regrets the morning after the Nov. 6 election. Sometimes sullen and at other times sunny, Ryan has been urging increasingly large crowds to take action now or regret their idle hands.
"What is it we want to see? We already know," Ryan said Sunday in Marion, Ohio. "We know that if President Obama got another term, it's nothing more than four more years of the same."
Ryan's aides say he remains upbeat on the prospects of Romney and Ryan capturing the White House.
Yet his comments at times betray that swagger.
"It is not too late to put our country on the right path," Ryan said Monday in Fernandina Beach, Fla. "It is not too late to put the right reforms in place for a real recovery."
But it's up to voters.
Ryan began his day Wednesday with a thousand strangers in Eau Claire, Wis., before a flight to Green Bay. From there, he planned two more stops and a drive to Janesville to see his children for Halloween.
"Did we do everything that we can do? Did we talk to those independents and those Democrats?" Ryan asked supporters in Green Bay. "Did we talk to those people who know we're on the wrong track?"
The rigors of campaigning have been hard on Ryan, from early mornings and late nights to living in hotel rooms and eating unhealthy foods. Gone are his long workout sessions in the Capitol gym, replaced by lackluster hotel workout rooms.
In recent days, Ryan has interrupted his speech to cough or clear his throat. His three children, ages 7 to 10, are occasionally with him on the road but more often in school in Janesville, Wis.
It's easy to understand why Ryan is ready for this to be over. Even so, he's not always dour when talking about the day after this campaign ends.
"We can all wake up the next day, on Nov. 7, and look at the TV screen and see we have to wait four more years for change, or nine more days from now. We can do this," Ryan said Sunday in Findlay, Ohio. "Nine more days and then the next day we will wake up and see that we've elected a real leader to lead us, a man you will be proud to call our president."