Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan laid laid out in clear terms today the choice voters face in the upcoming election, using conservative principles to strike a sharp contrast with the ideology that guides President Obama.
“What kind of country do we want to have? What kind of people do we want to be?” Ryan asked.
In laying out the differences, Ryan struck at the heart of what concerns not just conservatives, but many mainstream voters, about Obama: How committed is he really to the principles of freedom and free enterprise that undergird our society and system of government.
From Ryan’s remarks:
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 . . .
We look with success at one another’s success with pride, not resentment, because we know – we know that as more Americans work hard, take risks, succeed, more people will prosper.
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 . . .
We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. 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 . . .
We won’t blame others, we will take responsibility. And we won’t replace our founding principles, we will reapply them.
Ryan also showed he will not hesitate to play the traditional vice presidential role of attack dog, that he is ready to relentlessly dissect Obama administration policies and point out their shortcomings.
My dad died when I was young. He was a good and decent man. There are a few things he would say that have just always stuck with me. He would say, son, you’re 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 . . .
In his first two 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 . . . Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.
The Obama campaign will try to destroy Ryan. And they must feel some urgency, because Ryan knows how to probe Obama’s weak spots with the clarity of someone who understands the president’s philosophy as well as his own.