Paul Ryan at a USF round table
Tampa, FL -- USF took center stage today, as Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan took part in a round-table discussion at the University.
The focus - young entrepreneurs and small business.
USF's Center for Entrepreneurship got high praise from the congressman, who called the program the kind of idea "that creates job creators."
It's also, he said, the kind of program he and Mitt Romney would like to see more of, if elected.
Ryan seemed relaxed and at home discussing economic policies with students, faculty and graduates from USF's Center for Entrepreneurship.
"This is the engine of opportunity of America. This is getting an idea, bringing it to marketplace, taking a risk and then seeing how it creates jobs," he said of the Center.
70% of the Graduates from the specialized program have gone on to launch their own businesses. Like Jeremy Terenzi - who graduated last year and founded "Bare Life", an on-line retailer of paddle boards and accessories.
"And when the business grows I'd like to put in storefronts in multiple states, and employ many people," he said.
Ryan's visit to the USF campus may also signal a push for voters that have skewed more toward president Obama.
A straw poll just this week on USF's campus found students support the president by better than a two-to-one margin- 63% to 30%- with a handful of other candidates rounding out the poll.
But Ryan's visit may influence some of those young voters, especially those who got a chance to sit down with him, like USF senior Brian Goff.
"Getting to meet him first hand and have conversations with him and hear his thoughts - his concern seemed genuine," said Goff, "so it was a very good impression."
Unlike some of his other campaign stops, Ryan limited his criticism of the Obama administration at USF, sticking mostly to business. Even going so far as - at one point - to say "I'm not here to be political".