Just two days after the first attacks on the U.S. embassies and the horrific deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans, Paul Ryan spoke to Clermont County residents at a rally held at the fairgrounds.
“In the face of such a tragedy, we need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership…This administration’s policies project weakness abroad – undercutting allies like Israel, outreach to enemies like Iran, national security leaks, and devastating defense cuts. A weak America breeds insecurity and chaos around the world. The best guarantee of peace is American strength; and ‘Peace through Strength’ will be the Romney/Ryan foreign policy of this country.”
There has not been much conversation about foreign policy during the campaign, but an international incident like this atrocity brings it to the forefront. Appeasement does not work with bullies, terrorists, and thugs. Diminishing America to the rest of the world does not bring peace. It’s time to restore – not transform – America’s place in the world.
Most of the campaign conversation has focused on the economy; indeed, we are in a fiscal crisis. And, a strong economy is essential to our nation’s stability – and international leadership.
While there has been talk of an unemployment rate above 8% since the administration took office, Ryan pointed out that if the labor force participation rate (that is the proportion of men and women in America who are working or who are looking for work) were the same as it was when Obama took office, the real unemployment rate would be 11.2%. Just last month, for example, for every job that was created, nearly 4 people stopped looking for a job. The national debt when Obama took office was $10.6 trillion; now it is over $16 trillion. The President’s plan is not working. A huge stimulus package, heavy spending, and borrowing have not solved the problem.
Ryan said that of all the things we need right now, we need leadership.
“We need people to see the problem – stop blaming other people – and actually fix it…What makes a great leader? Well, a great historian once said a person has to have a bedrock of principles – a moral compass – a vision for the country and the ability to execute that vision. That is Mitt Romney.”
He told the story of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, the corruption and wasteful spending there; and how Romney was called upon to fix the problem. Romney not only resolved the problems, he left the Olympic Games with a surplus of nearly $100 million and made it one of the most successful Olympics in history. “Duty, Honor, Service to country,” said Ryan, characterizing Romney.
It’s interesting to note that – despite the frequent application of the terms “service” and “public servant” to officeholders, including those whose personal wealth has grown because of their office – Romney actually has been a servant, accepting no financial compensation for his three-year stint saving the 2002 Olympics or for his four-year term as governor of Massachusetts. What does that say about his character?
Ryan went on to enumerate Romney’s accomplishments as an entrepreneur, business builder, and job creator. We need “decisive leadership. You see, what we’re after is growth. What we’re after is opportunity. What we’re after is upward mobility. That’s what this country prides itself on.”
Obama speaks to people “as if they’re stuck in some status in life, as if they’re victims of circumstances beyond their control, and the government is here to help them cope with it.”
Ryan emphasized, “We cannot keep spending money we don’t have. We have got to cut spending. We’ve got to get this deficit under control. We can see on the horizon this debt crisis.” What’s happening in Europe is what’s coming to us.
He talked about supporting small businesses, about the problem with taxing our job creators at higher rates than foreign competitors. He is confident that we can get the economy growing at the rate it ought to be. “We’re getting back behind the nucleus of our society, and that’s the person – not the government.” It comes down to what kind of people we want to be, what kind of country we want to have. There is a clear choice between two different visions for America.
This country was built on principles, he explained, “Liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, government by consent of the governed. Government works for us – not the other way around.”
Ryan concluded his message with an admonition to Ohioans:
“You have a special responsibility. You have a special opportunity. You – more than any other Americans – get to decide which of these two futures we are going to have. And this is the commitment that Mitt Romney and I are going to make to you:
Our fellow citizens here in Ohio, We will not duck the tough issues. We will not kick the can down the road. We will lead and we will fix this mess in Washington and get the economy back on track; and we will not spend the next four years blaming other people. We will take responsibility, and we will not try to transform America into something it was never intended to be. We will not try to replace our founding principles; we will reapply our founding principles. We need your help, Ohio. This is the election that counts. With your help, together we can get this done.”
Click here to see photos of the rally.