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Paul Ryan campaigns in Las Vegas for down-ballot Republicans Cresent Hardy, Danny Tarkanian

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Posted at 3:36 PM, Oct 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-29 21:12:40-04

House Speaker Paul Ryan campaigned with two Nevada congressional candidates on Saturday, attempting to rally Republicans after a week of early voting that saw Democrats closely outvoting Republicans.

The Wisconsin Republican spoke at a North Las Vegas rally with Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy and gave brief remarks in the office of congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian.

Ryan steered clear of mentioned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at both events, instead pitching voters to focus on the merits of individual candidates and promoting his "Better Way" policy proposals as a positive step forward on tackling issues like poverty, health care and national security.

"We have an agenda that we're actually running on, that we're talking about," Ryan said, holding a "Better Way" brochure. "You may not have heard about it because there's a lot else going on TV these days."

After a week of early voting, Democrats hold a statewide lead of roughly 28,500 votes, and Democratic turnout has so far eclipsed registered Republican turnout in both Hardy and Tarkanian's districts.

Ryan spent much of his speech extolling Hardy, who's locked in a tight re-election campaign against Democratic state Sen. Ruben Kihuen. 

"Cresent Hardy is one of the architects of this plan," he said. "Cresent Hardy is the man with the big heart who says, 'I don't have all the answers but I'm going to go find out where they are, and where I see these great things happening I'm going to get behind them."

Kihuen's campaign immediately seized on the "architect" label and issued a statement criticizing the proposals and both Republicans.

"Hardy has been a rubber stamp for Paul Ryan’s agenda, and his voting record speaks for itself," he said in a statement.

Ryan also addressed news while speaking to volunteers at Tarkaian's office that the FBI was revisiting an investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of email while Secretary of State and potential new emails discovered during a separate investigation of the estranged husband of one of her top aides, Anthony Weiner.

"For the young people here who didn't live in the 90's like we did, this is what life is like with the Clintons," he said. "This is, it's scandal after scandal after scandal."