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Ryan contrasts Romney, Obama visions in Raleigh speech

Posted August 22, 2012

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— Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan told a cheering Raleigh audience Wednesday that President Barack Obama's economic legacy pales in comparison to that of Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Speaking at SMT Inc., a 40-year-old sheet metal fabrication company in northwest Raleigh, Ryan said the nation needs to celebrate such home-grown businesses, not try to paint them as the enemy of the middle class.

"Success is a good thing in America. That's what jobs are all about," he said.

Obama's campaign has portrayed Romney's business career as one built on tax breaks and shipping U.S. jobs overseas, and the president is seeking to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for programs he says will benefit the majority of the country.

"Hope and change is now attack and blame," Ryan said, recalling Obama's 2008 campaign slogan. "He's seeking to divide this country."

Ryan divided Obama and Romney, contrasting the president's record in Washington, D.C., with his running mate's record as governor of Massachusetts.

The U.S. credit rating was downgraded on Obama's watch, while Massachusetts' rating was upgraded while Romney was in office, he said. Likewise, he said, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts fell during Romney's tenure, while the national rate has topped 8 percent for 42 straight months.

"It's accurate to say President Obama inherited a bad situation when he came into office. Here's the problem: He made things much worse," he said.

Life in Washington under Obama's leadership has been "the most bitter, acrimonious, partisan time," Ryan said, adding that Romney was able to build consensus in a Democratic-controlled Massachusetts to balance the state budget without a tax increase.

Paul Ryan campaigns in Raleigh Paul Ryan campaigns in Raleigh

Calling North Carolina's 9.6 percent unemployment rate "unacceptable," Ryan said Romney's economic policies would create 355,000 jobs in the state and 12 million nationwide.

The policies include an emphasis on domestic energy production, an education system controlled by parents that provides students with skills needed by employers, foreign trade agreements that favor U.S. exports and a balanced federal budget.

"President Obama and the words 'fiscal responsibility' do not belong in the same sentence," Ryan said. "President Obama is putting us on a path of debt, a path of decline and a path of doubt."

Ryan also vowed that he and Romney would repeal the national health care reform effort that Obama signed into law two years ago.

"We will end this," he said to raucous cheers, saying the "Obamacare" program is "siphoning off" money from Social Security and Medicare.

Tough battle expected in NC

Before arriving in North Carolina – his second visit to the state in 10 days – Ryan stopped in Roanoke, Va.

Virginia and North Carolina are two states that Obama captured in 2008 – the first time either voted for a Democratic president in decades – and Republicans hope to recapture them in November.

Democrats tapped 4th District Congressmen David Price and U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen to respond to Ryan's visit. Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, serves with Ryan on the House Budget Committee and said Ryan's spending plan includes deep cuts to education and student aid.

"They want to double down on tax breaks for the very wealthy – for people like Mitt Romney – at the expense of everyone and everything else," Van Hollen said in a visit to North Carolina State University.

He said Romney and Ryan would cut Pell Grants by more than $800 a year for each of 250,000 college students in North Carolina.

Price called the GOP ticket "profoundly dangerous to higher education."

Federal election records show Obama has raised $3.9 million so far in North Carolina, compared with slightly more than $3 million by Romney. In the Raleigh area, which was an Obama stronghold four years ago, Romney leads the president $457,000 to $435,000.

"We are not going to duck the tough issues. We are not going to kick the can down the road. We're going to lead," Ryan told the crowd in Raleigh. "It's not too late to turn this around, to get this right."

Ryan energizes audience

Most attendees said they think Romney and Ryan have the energy and vision to get it done.

"I thought he was great. Everything was a clear plan and set a good course for America moving forward," Merrit Ashton said.

Paul Ryan in Raleigh Ryan delivers enthusiastic message in Raleigh

"I was very impressed with him. I can't say anything negative," Blake Hutchins said.

"I'm absolutely, totally enthused (and) invigorated. I think Romney-Ryan is the future of this country," Chad Goolsby said.

Independent voter Alfonso McAfee said he wasn't convinced.

"I know he didn't have a lot of time, but I thought he could've been more in-depth with some of his solutions and platforms," McAfee said.

"I like to hear pros and cons of both sides," said Sammy Holt, who also described himself as an independent voter. "I agree with what he said. As along as it's moral and sticks with the standards, I'm all for it."

About two dozen protesters demonstrated across the street from SMT, expressing opposition to the Republican stance on various issues, including abortion.

Ryan was to attend a 5 p.m. fundraiser at the Raleigh home of John Kane, the chairman and chief executive of North Hills developer Kane Realty. The event costs $2,500 for a general reception ticket, $15,000 for a photo reception or $25,000 for the VIP reception, according to a flier for the fundraiser.

Ryan also is scheduled to attend a defense industry roundtable Thursday morning at the Partnership for Defense Innovation in Fayetteville. That event isn't open to the public.


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  • NCAries Aug 23, 2012

    Obama was elected in 2008. Dr. Pauls prediction was from 2002.


    Well, in the mid to late 70's my dad predicted that the country would be taken over without a single shot being fired and guess what...invasion of the border crossers/anchor babies. No link to that either.

  • caryzoo Aug 23, 2012

    Okay....but looking at Georgetown, SC...where Bain capital profited mightily and then left the clean up to the state and town? Leaving the environmental issues to state's is a vast mistake. It is plain wrong. And allowing people like Romney and Ryan to pay lees than my 40K in taxes is also plain wrong. I will never forget the Republican...Boener? saying anything Obama proposed would be defeated. He did not mention the fact that some would be a great help to this ailing nation. He did not, and does not to this day, care about you or I. He only cares about what he wants.

  • jjordan231179 Aug 23, 2012

    over 700 comments.....must be an interesting topic for people to read and make a comment to....ROMNEY and RYAN will be a WELCOME CHANGE FOR AMERICA....let's just hope and pray that voters will get out and make sure that they get elected.....
    August 23, 2012 11:15 a.m.
    Report abuse

    Two more Keynesians are going to fix a Keynesians mess? Where do you people get this logic from? This is eco 101. Keynesians always fail. LOOK WHERE WE ARE!!!!!

  • jjordan231179 Aug 23, 2012

    CAn you please link me to where Obama predicted the housing collapse as Dr. Paul did. Show me. Did he not see it coming?

    No, but I can tell you my nephew predicted that as soon as Obama was elected president the folks with money, wall street, would show him whose boss...and darn. I don't have a link for that either.
    August 23, 2012 12:35 p.m.
    Report abuse

    Obama was elected in 2008. Dr. Pauls prediction was from 2002.

  • Plenty Coups Aug 23, 2012

    "People are really scared aren't they?
    Texas official warns of Obama civil war link"

    Appalling. But then this is the state whose governor mentioned secession as an option. The guy who organized a government prayer for rain and instead got wild fires.

  • bawilliams816 Aug 23, 2012

    whats the difference between Romney/Ryan abusing the system to pay little in taxes and people abusing the system to get gov't assistance? Both seem wrong if you ask me

  • bawilliams816 Aug 23, 2012

    "Using that logic, Obama should give the $billion he and his family have spent on vacations......on golf, and the almost $trillion he has spent on his campaign. your logic is twisted, as are your morals and support for such an evil man."

    so should Mittens... oh that's right, he has it hidden in off shore accounts because he doesn't believe in America... you know, the same country he wants so desperately to run.

  • NCAries Aug 23, 2012

    CAn you please link me to where Obama predicted the housing collapse as Dr. Paul did. Show me. Did he not see it coming?

    No, but I can tell you my nephew predicted that as soon as Obama was elected president the folks with money, wall street, would show him whose boss...and darn. I don't have a link for that either.

  • NCAries Aug 23, 2012

    People are really scared aren't they?

    Texas official warns of Obama civil war
    link: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Texas-official-warns-of-Obama-civil-war-3807672.php

  • aetius476 Aug 23, 2012

    "What would you have America, the richest country in the world by far, do for its poor in the deepest economic recession and aftermath in 80 years? "Let them eat cake" perhaps?" - Crabbit Cratur

    I would help them find work and support themselves without "Daddy O" providing their every need. Its called dignity, something being lost in the entitlement society you all are creating.

    BTW, the newest iteration of the Farm Bill had Food Stamp spending expanded to $82B ($20B increase - 32%).

    Funny that the libs would propose such expansion of this pork trough program when the economy is supposedly so much better now, and the recession is a fading memory.

    When in your mind does the "emergency" aid stop and we return to normal levels of social spending? Never, most likely...