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paul ryan values voter summit Republican vice presidential candidate, Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), speaks at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, Friday, September 14, 2012. (Photo: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Election 2012: Paul Ryan Addresses Conservatives

Vice presidential nominee delivers speech at Values Voter Summit

By Nell Leibovich | September 17 , 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan delivered a campaign speech to a room of conservative activists. Ryan's remarks were delivered at the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel here in Washington.

Ryan's speech was one of many during a three-day conference at the Value Voter Summit. The summit was put together by the Family Research Council, a conservative group that believes in traditional family values, limited government, and reduced government spending, according to the group's website.

In his speech, Ryan criticized President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party for relying too much on the government to fix problems.  He was especially critical of Obama's health care plan, which he said was getting into the citizen's business.

"This is what happened to the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities this past January, when the new mandates of Obamacare start coming," Ryan explained. "Never mind your own conscience, they were basically told. From now on you're going to do things the government's way."

Ryan also took jabs at the President for not doing enough to help people who are out of work find jobs. He said Obama's efforts had not changed the situation of most Americans.

"Here is what we got," said Ryan. "Prolonged joblessness across the country. Twenty-three million Americans struggling to find work."

Ryan spent a great majority of his speech attacking Obama and only a bit of his time talking about his new ideas for the country. And only at the start of the speech and the end of it did he mention Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's name.

He did not talk about Romney's policies but talked about him in personal terms.

"[Romney's] solid and trustworthy, faithful and honorable," said Ryan. "Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine busnessman, he is a fine man, worthy of leading our country."

The crowd listed to Ryan's remarks intently. While he was speaking, they didn't make much noise. Most of the men were wearing suits and the women were professionally dressed. There were a lot of college-aged people in the crowd.

"I thought it was excellent," Bonnie Luna, a conference-goer from Salisbury, Maryland, said about Ryan's speech. "He spoke from the heart."

While those in attendance were mostly reserved, they came alive when a heckler stood up and interrupted Ryan halfway through his speech.

"Corporations are not people!" the man screamed. While security escorted him out, the audience loudly chanted "USA! USA!"

ELECTION 2012

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