Transcript: Rep Paul Ryan’s remarks on becoming Romney’s VP running mate
Edited by Jenny Jiang
Transcript of remarks by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Republican vice presidential running mate, on Aug. 11, 2012:
“Hey – and right in front of the U.S.S. Wisconsin, huh? Man!”[Cheers]
“Every now then I’m known to make a mistake. I did not make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell you this: He’s going to be the next Vice President of the United States!”[Laugh and cheers]
“Governor Romney and Ann, thank you.
“I am deeply honored and excited to join you as your running mate.[Applause]
“I want to tell you about Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background, and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history.
“Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim. They need someone to revive them.
“Governor Romney is the man for this moment. And he and I share one commitment: we will restore the greatness of this country.
“I want you to meet my family. My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our sons, Charlie and Sam.
“I’m surrounded by the people I love – I love you too.[Laughter]
“And I’ve been asked by Governor Romney to serve the country I love.
“Janesville, Wisconsin is where I was born and raised, and I never really left it. It’s our home now.
“For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There, I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, turning ideas into action, and action into solutions.
“I am committed, in heart and mind, to putting that experience to work in a Romney Administration.
“This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation, and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness.
“That man is standing right next to me. His name is Mitt Romney, and he will be the next president of the United States of America.
“My dad died when I was young. He was a good and decent man. There are a few things that he would say that have always stuck with me. He’d say, ‘Son you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.’
“Well, regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution.
“The other thing my dad would always say is that every generation of Americans leaves their children better off. That’s the American legacy.
“Sadly, for the first time in our history, we are on a path which will undo that legacy. That is why we need new leadership to become part of the solution – new leadership to restore prosperity, economic growth, and jobs.
“It is our duty to save the American Dream for our children, and theirs.
“I believe there is no person in America who is better prepared – because of his experience, because of the principles he holds, and because of his achievements and excellence in so many different arenas – to lead America at this point in our history.
“Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney is about replace. No one disputes that President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And, in his first 2 years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn’t make things better.
“In fact, we find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt, and despair.
“This is the worst economic recovery in 70 years. Unemployment has been above 8% for more than three years – the longest run since the Great Depression. Families are hurting.
“We have the largest deficits and the biggest federal government since WWII.
“Nearly 1 out of 6 Americans are in poverty–the worst rate in a generation. Moms and dads are struggling to make ends meet.
“Household incomes have dropped more than $4,000 over the past four years.
“Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.
“President Obama, and too many like him in Washington, have refused to make difficult decisions because they are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation.
“We might have been able to get away with that before, but not now. We’re in a different and dangerous moment. We’re running out of time — and we can’t afford 4 more years of this.
“Politicians from both parties have made empty promises which will soon become broken promises–with painful consequences–if we fail to act now.
“I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs, and factory towns.
“Over the years I have seen and heard from a lot from families, from a lot of those running small businesses, and from people who are in need.
“But what I have heard lately – that’s what troubles me the most. There is something different in their voice and in their words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered expectations, uncertain futures.
“I hear some people say that this is just ‘the new normal.’ Higher unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal.
“It is the result of misguided policies. And next January, our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will lead to more jobs and more take home pay for working Americans.
“America is on the wrong track, but Mitt Romney and I will take the right steps, in the right time, to get us back on the right track!
“I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside Washington. I’ve worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and job creation.
“I’m proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business—you did build that.[Cheers]
“At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses, and he turned around failing ones – companies like Staples, Bright Horizons and Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs and showed he knows how a free economy works.
“At the Olympics, he took a failing enterprise and made it the pride of our entire nation.
“As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to balance budgets without increasing taxes, lower unemployment, increase income and improve people’s lives.
“In all of these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a man of achievement, excellence and integrity.
“Janna and I tell Liza, Charlie and Sam that America is a place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead.
“We look at one another’s success with pride, not resentment, because we know that as more Americans work hard, take risks and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be uplifted and improved.
“America is more than just a place though. America is an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not from government.[Cheers]
“That’s right. That’s who we are. That’s how we’ve built this country. That’s who we are. That’s what made us great. That’s our founding.[Applause]
“We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.[Cheers]
“And this idea was founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed.
“This idea is under assault. So, we have a critical decision to make as a nation.
“We are on an unsustainable path that is robbing America of our freedom and security. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:
“We won’t duck the tough issues. We will lead!
“We won’t blame others. We will take responsibility!
“We won’t replace our founding principles. We will reapply them! That’s what we will do.
“We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:
“What kind of country do we want to have?
“What kind of people do we want to be?
“We can turn this thing around. Real solutions can be delivered. But, it will take leadership. And the courage to tell you the truth.
“Mitt Romney is this kind of leader. I’m excited for what lies ahead and I’m thrilled to be a part of America’s Comeback Team. And together, we will unite America and get this done!
“Thank you! Thank you very much! Thanks!”
- CSpan.org: Mitt Romney Announces Paul Ryan As Vice Presidential Candidate
- MittRomney.com: Meet Paul Ryan
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Mitt Romney announces Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate