Paul Ryan - 2012 RNC
Paul Ryan officially accepted the nomination by the Grand Old Party for Vice President of the United States. The following are highlights from his acceptance speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
We Are Ready
"I am honored by the support of this convention for Vice President of the United States. I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity. And I know we can do this. I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us with opportunity for the young and security for the old. And I know that we are ready. Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life prepared him for this moment to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idol words. After four years of getting the runaround, America needs a turnaround and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.
"I'm the newcomer to this campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power. They’ve run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division is all they've got left. With all of their attack ads the president is just throwing away money, and he’s pretty experienced at that.
"You see, some people can't be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics because their character, ability, and plain decency are so obvious. And ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney."
Amazon Price: $15.00 $3.05 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 20, 2016)
Let's Get This Done
"The people of Wisconsin have been good to me. I've tried to live up to their trust, and now I ask those hardworking men and women and millions like them across America to join our cause and get this country working again. When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said ‘Let's get this done,’ and that is exactly what we are going to do.
"President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those are very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My own state voted for President Obama, when he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville where we were about to lose a major factory. A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that G.M. plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.’ That's what he said in 2008; well, as it turned out that plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day, and that's how it is in so many towns where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight. Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work, 23 million people unemployed or underemployed [and] nearly one in six Americans is in poverty.
"Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life. Half of them can't find the work they studied for, or any work at all. So here's the question, without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?"
What Did You Get Out of the Stimulus . . . More Debt
"The first troubling sign came with the stimulus, President Obama's first and best shot at fixing the economy. At a time when he got everything he wanted under one party rule, it cost $831 billion, the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs and make-believe markets.
"The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare anachronism at their worst. You the American people of this country were cut out of the deal. What did taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus, more debt. That money wasn't just spent and wasted, it was borrowed, spent and wasted. Maybe the greatest waste of all was time.
"Here we were faced with a massive job crisis so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation and nothing else his first order of economic business, but this president didn't do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all or nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care."
The Greatest Threat to Medicare is Obamacare
"Obama Care comes to more than 2,000 pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees and fines that have no place in a free country. You know what? The president has declared that the debate over government controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of American who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obama Care.
"And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obama Care came at the expense of the elderly. You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the healthcare takeover, even with the new law and new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn't have enough money; they needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So they just took it all away from Medicare, $716 billion funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn't even ask for.
"The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare and we're going to stop it. . . . Medicare is a promise and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan Administration will protect and strengthen Medicare for my mom's generation, for my generation and for my kids and yours.
"So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn't going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate, we want this debate, we will win in this debate."
All That's Left is a Presidency Adrift Surviving on Slogans that Already Seem Tired
"Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close. It began with a financial crisis. It ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn't cause. It ends with a housing crisis they didn't correct. It began with a perfect AAA credit rating for the United States. It ends with the downgraded America. It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that's left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired . . . grasping at the moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday's wind."
One President, One Term, $5 Trillion in New Debt
"You know, President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, ‘Well, I haven't communicated enough.’ He said his job is to, quote, ‘tell a story to the American people.’ As if that is the whole problem here? He needs to talk more and we need to be better listeners?
"Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years, we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What is missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago. Isn't it about time he assumed responsibility?
"In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt unpatriotic. Serious talk from what looked like a serious reformer. By his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt."
You can be Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution
"He created a new bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanks them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing. Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing, nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.
"So here we are $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. . . . And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious. They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don't have.
"My Dad used to say to me: ‘Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.’ The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation's economic problems. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we'll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs."
You Did Build That
"Behind every small business, there's a story worth knowing. . . . A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small business people say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn't help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.
"We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years."
Your Leaders Have Failed You
"President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record. But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy that Barack Obama inherited, not the economy as he envisions, but this economy that we are living.
"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now, and I hope you understand this too, if you're feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed; your leaders have failed you."
A Country Where Everything is Free but Us
"None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.
"Listen to the way we're already spoken to, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate. It's the exact opposite of everything I learned . . . an American journey, where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happen as for myself. That is what we do in this country. That is the American dream."
Amazon Price: $16.99 $10.58 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 20, 2016)
Mitt Has Succeeded Where Others Could Not
"A challenger must stand on his own merits. He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president. We are a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And in some ways, we are different. . . . A generation apart -- a generation apart, but that does
not matter. It makes us different but not in any of the things that matter. Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the Heartlands, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good.
"We know what these communities look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by, and we know it can be that way again. We have had very different careers, mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones, and by the way being successful in business, that's a good thing.
"Mitt has not only succeeded, but he has succeeded where others could not. He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending and corruption. Sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it?
"He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in 10 legislators are Democrats and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down. Household incomes went up, and Massachusetts under Governor Mitt Romney saw its credit rating upgraded."
Our Rights Come From Nature and God Not From Government
"Mitt and I also go to different churches, but in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example, and I've been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he is a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country. Our faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life, there is goodness, for every person there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the lord of life. . . . Sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, and not from government.
"The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us has defended our freedoms. They are protecting us right now. We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them. The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near."
Together, We Can Do This
"So here is our pledge. We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead. We will not spend the next four years blaming others, we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles; we will reapply our founding principles.
"We can do this -- we can do this. Together, we can do this. We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.
"Whatever your political party, let's come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let's give this effort everything we have. Let's see this through all the way. Let's get this done.
"Thank you and God bless."