Paul Ryan: 'Pretty amazing' Romney is tied against Obama 'machine'

"In the fact that we're running against a huge machine and Mitt Romney is still tied, I think that's pretty amazing. Here in Wisconsin we had a pretty big test vote last week, and we passed with flying colors," Ryan said, referencing the failed recall effort against Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday showed that despite approval of the president's job performance slipping and more Americans believing the country is on the wrong track after a disappointing May jobs report, the president continues to hold a single lead over Romney.

But Ryan, a prominent Romney surrogate, argued that the GOP candidate could draw a sharp contrast with the president over the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. The president has said he'd like to extend the cuts for all but the wealthiest Americans, while Republicans have argued to make the full slate permanent.

"Look, President Obama is promising one of the largest tax increases in American history in January, and we wonder why small businesses aren't creating jobs?" Ryan said. "On day one, because we need a new president, Mitt Romney will fix this."

Ryan also discounted Democratic arguments that spending had jumped to repair the damage from the recession that began under President George W. Bush.

"The deficit was going to come down after the 2008 crisis occurred. President Obama propped it up with stimulus spending," Ryan said.

The Wisconsin lawmaker went on to accuse the president of using the Bush tax cut expiration as leverage to continue increasing the size of government.

"The president gave us a spending increase where the government grew to the highest it has been since World War II," Ryan said. "So we got a gusher of new spending, a gusher of new borrowing, and now President Obama wants one of the largest tax increases in history — by the way, not to pay for all that spending, but as fuel for more spending."