As the Paul Ryan Iowa Bus Tour rolls into Clinton on Tuesday, the electronic national debt clock on display outside the county courthouse continues to advance.
Rep. Ryan worries about a scenario where U.S. debt becomes more controlled by countries like China.
"We lose our sovereignty, our independence and our ability to chart our own future," said Rep. Ryan.
Speaking before nearly 300 supporters, the GOP's VP hopeful calls U.S. debt the biggest threat to the economy.
"We have a moral obligation to do something about this," he said.
It's all about the economy. The Wisconsin congressman uses his midwestern roots to distance the Republican ticket from White House policies. It's a message that connects in Clinton.
"I'm a small business owner," said Emily Steenhard, who operates the Painted Rooster in downtown Clinton. "If we get too much debt, we go out of business. The federal government works the same way."
With just over a month to go, that focus on the economy is a chance to sway swing voters in Iowa. It's a battleground state that continues to be an important part of the presidential election.
Campaigns will use the final weeks to get out the vote. Iowa's six electoral votes could make the difference between victory and defeat.
"There are still some undecided voters out there, we know," said Mitch McDermott, a farmer from Delmar. "It's just getting people excited about our future."
Ryan brings geographical balance, youth and enthusiasm to the Republican ticket. Mitt Romney supporters hope those qualities will lead to victory.
"This election is about the meaning of America," Rep. Ryan concluded. "It's about the soul of our nation."
As the Ryan Iowa Bus Tour rolled on to Muscatine and Burlington, it's a nation nearly ready to decide.