Election 2012: Paul Ryan Fires Up Convention
Romney's running mate formerly accepts VP nomination
TAMPA, Florida — At the Republican National Convention last night, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan formally accepted his party's nomination for Vice President.
Ryan's speech was the headline event at the second night of the convention. Delegates and party members also heard remarks from former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
But Ryan is who everyone came to hear.
"Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States," Ryan began. "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."
After introducing his family to the convention crowd and viewers at home, Ryan made the case why voters should support Mitt Romney and not reelect President Barack Obama.
"After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney," Ryan said. The crowd inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum roared in approval.
Throughout his speech, Ryan focused on three things: health care, the national debt, and economic recovery. Ryan hammered President Obama on slow job growth, his health care law (called Obamacare by critics), and wasted stimulus resources on businesses that have failed.
"What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt," Ryan said. "That money wasn't just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted."
But, Ryan added, the greatest waste of all has been time.
Ryan said that during his three years as President, Obama has wasted time getting the country back on track. And if a change isn't made, the nation's problems will only get worse.
"I'm going to level with you: We don't have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this," Ryan said. "After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. 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."
Even though Ryan warned that the country is running out of time, he criticized Obama and his reelection campaign for relying on fear to appeal to voters.
"They've run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they've got left," Ryan said.
At the end of his speech, though, Ryan appealed for unity.
"The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this," he said. "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."
Throughout his speech, Ryan received numerous rounds of loud applause, standing ovations, and rowdy cheers.
"Oh, it was great! I loved it," Phillip Huffimes, a delegate from Texas, enthused.
Rachel Sciolaro, a Kansas delegate, agreed. She said Ryan's speech did exactly what it needed to do.
"He needed to let people know he's here for Mitt and that they are a team and that they have each other's back," she said.
Based on the buzz in the Forum after the speech, Ryan set the right tone for tonight's main event — Romney formally accepting the Republican nomination for President.
Additional reporting by Kid Reporter Topanga Sena
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