Paul Ryan came out swinging Saturday in his new role as Mitt Romney’s running  mate, accusing President Obama of presiding over a “record of failure” and  promising to speak “truth” to America’s problems and correct course.

“We can turn this thing around,” Ryan vowed, as he and Romney joined for the  first time as the official 2012 Republican ticket.

The Wisconsin congressman, to the backdrop of retired battleship USS  Wisconsin, gave a feisty opening speech — setting the tone for the Romney-Ryan  bus tour that’s next on the agenda, and the race going forward. Dutifully  promoting the top of the ticket, Ryan touted Romney as the solution to the  economic problems under Obama.

Met with chants of “USA, USA” from a riled-up crowd in Virginia, Ryan spoke  broadly about the virtues of free enterprise and specifically about America’s  economic woes, all laced with pointed attacks on the White House incumbent.  Though Ryan’s reputation is that of a reserved and wonkish pol, his break-out  speech as running mate signaled he’ll be playing offense for Romney quite  frequently.

Ryan accused the Obama team of being “more worried about their next election  than they are about the next generation.” He blamed Obama’s “misguided policies”  for the economic rut the country’s been stuck in.

“No one disputes that President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And,  in his first two years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he  passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better,”  Ryan said. “In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt and  despair. …

“Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of  failure.”

Ryan may continue pushing for a version of the budget proposal he  reintroduced earlier this year. That proposal would overhaul Medicare and  Medicaid and make other sweeping changes that Democrats have labeled as extreme.  But Ryan has stuck by his proposal as the solution to an ever-growing deficit  inflamed by out-of-control entitlement spending.

In a dose of the tough-love approach Ryan’s become known for, he said: “We  promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.”

The Republican presidential candidate called his new running mate a man of  “steadiness” and “integrity” as he introduced him. Speaking Saturday morning,  Romney praised Ryan as an “intellectual leader” of the party, one who  understands the toll the debt is taking on the country but is optimistic about  the future.

“He doesn’t demonize his opponents. He understands that honorable people can  have honest differences and he appeals to the better angels of our nature,”  Romney said. “He’s never been content to just curse the darkness. He’d rather  light candles.”

Romney initially fumbled his introduction of Ryan. In the closing line of his  remarks, he referred to Ryan as the “next president.” Romney quickly returned to  the podium to correct himself.

The selection comes roughly two weeks before the start of the Republican  National Convention in Tampa, and gives Romney plenty of space to rally the  party behind his pick before the official nomination.

The announcement comes as some polls, including a recent Fox News survey,  show the Republican presidential candidate losing some ground to President  Obama.

Ryan, 42, already considered a rising star in the Republican Party, is  chairman of the House Budget Committee. He’s been in Congress since 1999 and is  best known this session for his controversial budget plan that includes an  overhaul of Medicare.

Democrats have persistently tried to vilify that plan as a scheme to “end  Medicare as we know it.”

The Obama campaign repeated that line in its first official response to the  Ryan selection Saturday morning.

“The architect of the radical Republican House budget, Ryan, like Romney,  proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in  education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as we  know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in  health care costs to seniors,” the campaign said. “As a member of Congress, Ryan  rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and  crashed our economy. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeating  the same, catastrophic mistakes.”

Source: Fox News


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