(Newsroom America) -- Paul Ryan hit the stumps in Iowa Monday, campaigning in a crucial battleground state won by President Obama in 2008 but which many analysts believe will be much closer in November.
It will be Ryan's first solo campaign appearance since being named presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's running mate on Saturday, and it comes as Obama also campaigns in the state. The president will make stops in Council Bluffs and Boone; the Wisconsin lawmaker, meanwhile, will campaign in Des Moines.
Democrats have already begun to assail Ryan, largely over his fiscal conservatism. In past budget proposals, Ryan has called for entitlement reform which includes Medicare. Democrats say his reforms amount to destroying social safety nets for poor and elderly Americans.
The Obama campaign launched a new Web video Monday, as Romney heads to the senior-heavy state, entitled, "Romney-Ryan, ending Medicare as we know it."
At a campaign event on Sunday, Obama acknowledged Romney's VP pick, saying, "He is an articulate spokesman for Gov. Romney's vision. But it's a vision I fundamentally disagree with."
But Sarah Palin, the GOP's VP selection in 2008 and former Alaska governor, came to Ryan's defense, saying she won't allow the media to savage him like they did her.
"We will call out the media for their lies and distortions as they try to thrash his reputation and his record," she told Fox News.
Romney and Ryan appeared together for the first time since the announcement in Wisconsin on Sunday at a raucous campaign event organizers said drew more than 10,000 people.
Feeling the enthusiasm, Romney picked up the gauntlet and launched broadsides at Obama.
"If you follow the campaign of Barack Obama, he's going to do everything in his power to make this the lowest, meanest, negative campaign in history. We're not going to let that happen. This is going to be a campaign about ideas, about the future of America," he said to cheers. "Mr. President, take your campaign out of the gutter. Let's talk about the real issues that America faces."
So far, Romney has been reticent regarding Ryan's budget proposals, some of which have called for cuts in Medicare as part of a shift towards allowing the program to be managed in the private sector.
Changes include transforming Medicare into a voucher-type system and allowing future retirees shop for private health coverage or choose the traditional program. Some outside analysts have said that could mean higher out-of-pocket costs for some seniors, but Ryan says the program has to be reformed to remain solvent.
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