Paul Ryan came out swinging Saturday in his new role as Mitt Romney’s runningÂ mate, accusing President Obama of presiding over a “record of failure” andÂ 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 theÂ first time as the official 2012 Republican ticket.
The Wisconsin congressman, to the backdrop of retired battleship USSÂ Wisconsin, gave a feisty opening speech — setting the tone for the Romney-RyanÂ bus tour that’s next on the agenda, and the race going forward. DutifullyÂ promoting the top of the ticket, Ryan touted Romney as the solution to theÂ economic problems under Obama.
Met with chants of “USA, USA” from a riled-up crowd in Virginia, Ryan spokeÂ broadly about the virtues of free enterprise and specifically about America’sÂ economic woes, all laced with pointed attacks on the White House incumbent.Â Though Ryan’s reputation is that of a reserved and wonkish pol, his break-outÂ speech as running mate signaled he’ll be playing offense for Romney quiteÂ frequently.
Ryan accused the Obama team of being “more worried about their next electionÂ than they are about the next generation.” He blamed Obama’s “misguided policies”Â for the economic rut the country’s been stuck in.
“No one disputes that President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And,Â in his first two years, with his party in complete control of Washington, heÂ passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better,”Â Ryan said. “In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt andÂ despair. …
“Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record ofÂ failure.”
Ryan may continue pushing for a version of the budget proposal heÂ reintroduced earlier this year. That proposal would overhaul Medicare andÂ Medicaid and make other sweeping changes that Democrats have labeled as extreme.Â But Ryan has stuck by his proposal as the solution to an ever-growing deficitÂ inflamed by out-of-control entitlement spending.
In a dose of the tough-love approach Ryan’s become known for, he said: “WeÂ promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.”
The Republican presidential candidate called his new running mate a man ofÂ “steadiness” and “integrity” as he introduced him. Speaking Saturday morning,Â Romney praised Ryan as an “intellectual leader” of the party, one whoÂ understands the toll the debt is taking on the country but is optimistic aboutÂ the future.
“He doesn’t demonize his opponents. He understands that honorable people canÂ have honest differences and he appeals to the better angels of our nature,”Â Romney said. “He’s never been content to just curse the darkness. He’d ratherÂ light candles.”
Romney initially fumbled his introduction of Ryan. In the closing line of hisÂ remarks, he referred to Ryan as the “next president.” Romney quickly returned toÂ the podium to correct himself.
The selection comes roughly two weeks before the start of the RepublicanÂ National Convention in Tampa, and gives Romney plenty of space to rally theÂ party behind his pick before the official nomination.
The announcement comes as some polls, including a recent Fox News survey,Â show the Republican presidential candidate losing some ground to PresidentÂ Obama.
Ryan, 42, already considered a rising star in the Republican Party, isÂ chairman of the House Budget Committee. He’s been in Congress since 1999 and isÂ best known this session for his controversial budget plan that includes anÂ overhaul of Medicare.
Democrats have persistently tried to vilify that plan as a scheme to “endÂ Medicare as we know it.”
The Obama campaign repeated that line in its first official response to theÂ Ryan selection Saturday morning.
“The architect of the radical Republican House budget, Ryan, like Romney,Â proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts inÂ education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as weÂ know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars inÂ health care costs to seniors,” the campaign said. “As a member of Congress, RyanÂ rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit andÂ crashed our economy. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeatingÂ the same, catastrophic mistakes.”
Source: Fox News