VIDEO REPORT: Chatting with Janesville Locals About Rep. Ryan's RNC Speech

By: Rachelle Baillon Email
By: Rachelle Baillon Email

UPDATED Wednesday, August 29, 2012--5:50p.m.
JANESVILLE--Around these parts, Congressman Paul Ryan is the hometown boy that made it big:"Paul Ryan's name is up, we're really proud to have that name today," said Edmund Halabi, the owner of the Italian House restaurant in Janesville. "Who would've known then that today we'd be in that position."

The Italian House restaurant sits a stone's throw away from Janesville's Craig High School, where Ryan went to school. Halabi said graduates who regularly visit the restaurant are allowed to sign a brick on the wall--as Ryan did.

Halabi said he doesn't pick political sides, but now that Congressman Ryan's on the ticket, he's paying attention:"I...quickly turned on CNN because I wanted to see what they were talking about," he said. "My wife looked at me, she goes 'when have you become politically interested?' You know, but I think again we are associating ourselves with someone we know, you know Paul is our neighbor, he's our friend."

Several of the people we spoke with over the lunch hour say they'll be tuning-in to hear the congressman address the Republican National Convention Tonight. "That's a big thing, my husband's on the road, he told me he won't even call me until you know until the speech is over," said Kathleen Stumpf, who we found at the Italian House.

If you listen-in, don't be surprised if you hear the Congressman mention his hometown: The New York Times quotes a campaign adviser as saying " expect a lot of Janesville" in the speech.

The folks we spoke with listed jobs, the economy and the budget as themes they'd like to hear him mention.
"He was here in Janesville on Monday and we heard his speech," said Marita Leeder, another restaurant customer. "We really enjoyed listening to him and just feel uplifted."

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012--4:10p.m.
JANESVILLE--For those tuning-in to the Republican National Convention tonight--in which Wisconsin native and vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan will take center stage--don't be surprised if you hear references to Ryan's hometown of Janesville. The New York Times quotes a campaign adviser as saying " expect a lot of Janesville" in the speech.

We stopped by the community to chat with locals about Ryan's big moment. "We are associating ourselves with someone we know, you know, Paul is our neighbor, he's our friend, he's an excellent patron," said Edmund Halabi, the owner of the Italian House restaurant in Janesville. "And we just want the best for him and I think the public will be, the United States of America will be pleasantly surprised to know Paul."


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