August 21st, 2012
03:51 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan revisits Obama circa 2008

Carnegie, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Paul Ryan revisited some of President Barack Obama's most controversial comments from the 2008 campaign to rally a crowd behind the Republican ticket Tuesday.

"You know, every now and then President Obama sort of drops his veil. He's less coy about his philosophy. He sort of reveals his true governing policy, what he really believes," Ryan said at a steel factory near Pittsburgh.

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The new vice presidential candidate brought up unscripted moments from 2008 that dogged Obama's first presidential run.

"Remember this other time where he was caught on video saying, 'People like to cling to their guns and their religion,'" said Paul, referring to a comment Obama made during a San Francisco fund-raiser in April 2008. The remark was quickly jumped on by Republicans as an example of Obama being derisive toward conservative voters.

"Hey, I'm a Catholic deer-hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion," he said.

The seven-term congressman and House Budget Committee chairman from Wisconsin, who joined the ticket on August 11, reminded his audience of another time when Obama was confronted by a man in Ohio who became known as Joe the Plumber.

"Remember back in 2008, remember the guy Joe the Plumber? Remember when he said, you know, 'We wanna spread the wealth around.' It's this belief that the economy is some fixed pie, that there's only just so much money in America, it's fixed, and that the job of the government is to redistribute the slices of the pie."

Paul continued, "That's not true. The job of the government is to set the conditions for economic growth so we can grow the pie and everybody can get a bigger slice of the American pie through economic growth, through opportunity, through achievement, upward mobility. That's where prosperity comes from."

The old anecdotes fed into a larger narrative about the economy that the Romney-Ryan team has been trying to drive home for months. The campaign continues to take out of context a comment Obama made in Roanoke about business.

Their message was reinforced by the backdrop at Beaver Steel with the words "We did build it!" displayed behind Ryan on a flat-bed truck.

"Or how about the latest doozy in Roanoke, VA? Tony and Tony, father and son, we're here in your business. You have 50 employees in your business. You created jobs. You worked hard. You sacrificed. You rolled up your sleeves, you took risks. You had good days, you had bad days. Tony, you built this business. The government didn't build it for you. It's your business, your achievement, and we all benefit from that. That's what this country is built upon. You see, it's this belief that we need a government-centered society driven by a government-driven economy. It doesn't work," he said.

Danny Kanner, an Obama campaign spokesperson, said in response to Ryan's Tuesday event, "In Pennsylvania today, Paul Ryan chose to launch recycled attacks rather than debate the devastating impact that the Romney-Ryan agenda would have on middle class families. But that makes sense – their plan includes middle class tax increases, turning Medicare into a voucher program, and slashing critical investments in education, all to pay for massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

"It's an agenda Romney's own advisers have said would be suicidal for their campaign to discuss, which is why Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have completely abandoned the 'substantive' campaign they promised to run," Kanner continued.

Ryan bounded on stage waving a Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel and he let it hang from his back pocket throughout the entire rally.

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Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • President Obama
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Ryan voted for the $700 billion bank bailout, the auto bailout, Bush's wars, Bush tax cuts, the biggest Medicare expansion in U.S. history, a massive highway bill that included the “Bridge to Nowhere.” Enough said.

    YOU DID VOTE ON THAT!!!

    August 21, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    "The government didn't build it for you. It's your business, your achievement, and we all benefit from that."
    -------------------------------------------
    Did Tony build the road that leads to his business??? That was the President's point. R&R taking the President's comments out of context oonce more. PATHETIC!!!

    August 21, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    This dude is so pathetic idiot.

    August 21, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Paul does not understand the role of government. Since he is a disciple of Ayn Rand, he know relatively little of the works of a democracy.

    August 21, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    "Hey, I'm a Catholic deer-hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion,"
    ----------------------------------–
    You're a Catholic pathological liar!! I'm sure you've molested a boy or two in your day.

    August 21, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The Romney/Ryan "Pants on Fire" campaign continues.

    August 21, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Mark

    Ryan is going to end up with higher negatives than positives.

    August 21, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. bb

    Ryan is talking about creating jobs Oblunders response always the same it was taken out of blah, blah, blah, I cant wait for the debates put up or shut up time. 3 to 1 Biden doesnt show!!!!

    August 21, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. bb

    Niall Ferguson: Obama’s Gotta Go
    Aug 19, 2012 1:00 AM EDT

    Why does Paul Ryan scare the president so much? Because Obama has broken his promises, and it’s clear that the GOP ticket’s path to prosperity is our only hope.

    August 21, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. 8.3% unemployment - Over 8% 42 Straight months and the Obama Jobs DEPRESSION continues unabated

    Obama is the Manchurian candidate. Nobody knows who he truly is. His books are lies. He hides his past.

    August 21, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. Say No to Willard Romney Hood and Personhood Ann Ryand

    Paula Rand said "You know, every now and then President Obama sort of drops his veil. He's less coy about his philosophy. He sort of reveals his true governing policy, what he really believes"

    Careful, Paula. You seem to be developing that GOP disease called projection. As in your lies on medicare and your hypocritical pushing Akin out. Might as well drop the veil, trixie, because we're getting a better look at your policies and they don't pass the smell test. Your unfavorables will be hitting Willard territory in a very short matter of time. Looking forward to the end of your stint in politics going down with the sinking Romney campaign.
    Just wonder why Paula didn't hold this lie-fest at GS Steel....oops, nevermind.
    Ryan got riching buillding "that" because the government ordered it. She's pathetic.

    August 21, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    You know, it's extremely funny that the "IT" in their stupid little backdrop sign is italicized like that in order to make it stand out from the rest of the words, because that "IT" and what it refers to is precisely what Mittens and Lapdog are lying about:

    When Obama said it, he was referring to business-owners not having built the infrastructure that made their business possible. Obama wasn't saying that you didn't build your business. "IT" does not refer to your business. "IT," in the context of what Obama said and in terms of his intent in saying it, refers to the country's infrastructure...the roads, bridge, railways, airways, economic laws, education system, etc. Mittens and Lapdog are running their entire campaign...100% of it...on the basis of straw man arguments.

    August 21, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    R&R broke Wisconsin state law earlier this year when they were handing out sandwiches in exchange for votes. IOKIYAR

    August 21, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Obama is the Manchurian candidate. Nobody knows who he truly is. His books are lies. He hides his past."

    You're going to have to do better than that if you really want to scare everyone. Maybe remind us that he's brown too?

    August 21, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. BlkPwr817

    Like the POTUS said: You Can't Just Make Stuff Up! Soon the GOP will understand...

    August 21, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. dls

    Knowone here but a bunch of libtards. Move on...

    August 21, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The two qualities for VP in the pube party, is being catholic and a deer hunter. That is quite a glowing resume, Paul.

    August 21, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Bootstomper

    If you win Ryan stay the hell out of California you backwards moron.

    August 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. gord

    was romney checking out this companies bank account-health care and pension funds-for future bain investment

    August 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. California Gary

    bb – Biden will show, and he'll mop the floor with Ryan. Biden has more political knowledge and instincts in his pinkie finger than Ryan has in his whole body. It will be fun watching Ryan trying to explain all those budget busting votes he made during the Bush years. And watch him run and hide when the subject of abortion comes up........after the Akin thing, he is quickly adjusting his thoughts about exceptions. He will come across as a complete phony.

    August 21, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. BLKMANinAmerica

    Right..............Ryan.....................keep in mind your understanding of the 'role of government' is def NOT mine. So whatever and STOP trying to make me live your stupid pipe dream.

    August 21, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. anoel2005

    OBAMA HAS PREVIOUSLY SAID OTHER THINGS WHICH BOLSTER THE COMMENT "YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT".

    IN 2008, HE SAID "SPREAD THE WEALTH AROUND".

    OBAMA CLEARLY IS A SOCIALIST WHICH DOESN'T MAKE HIM A BAD PERSON BUT HIS POLICIES ARE NOT WHAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WANT FOR OUR FUTURE .

    August 21, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Latina

    My dad was an enterpreneur and worked so hard building his business. We also pay for the roads surrounding his business with "our" tax dollars. If my dad was around, he would not appreciate Mr. Obama's comments.

    August 21, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Frank Discussion

    bb, the path the prosperity is the Bush plan, period. Look where that got us last time. I for one don't want to go back to that – we're still trying to recover from the Republican's last attempt at "fixing" things.

    August 21, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Bugl3t

    What's really pathetic is how those without a legitimate argument typically resort to name-calling and simpley talking louder while repeating their lies, as if that makes things more true. RMoney & RyAyn are repeating lies at every campaign stop – stuff that ALL researchers and fact-checkers have mark "pants on fire" for their sheer BS. Want to check out some of these doozies?

    PROMISES MADE AND BROKEN: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/gop-pledge-o-meter/
    WELFARE: Romney’s ad says, "Under Obama’s plan (for welfare), you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check."
    That's a drastic distortion of the planned changes to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. By granting waivers to states, the Obama administration is seeking to make welfare-to-work efforts more successful, not end them. What’s more, the waivers would apply to individually evaluated pilot programs - HHS is not proposing a blanket, national change to welfare law.
    The ad tries to connect the dots to reach this zinger: "They just send you your welfare check." The HHS memo in no way advocates that practice. In fact, it says the new policy is "designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families."
    The ad’s claim is not accurate, and it inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance. Pants on Fire!

    RMoney on the free market: "We're only inches away from no longer being a free economy." BS! http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jan/08/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-once-again-says-us-inches-away-no-long/
    It’s true that the government’s footprint on spending has grown over the past few years, due in large part to the recession. But while the statistics show that the government continues to have a large influence on the economy, there is little indication that the government’s role has risen dramatically enough over the past few years to threaten the kind of free market that the U.S. has operated under in recent decades. And international comparisons show that the U.S. ranks low in both total tax burden and high in economic freedom - at least as measured by a prominent conservative think tank. Last June and August, we found this claim to merit a Pants on Fire. Nothing has changed our view. We rate Romney's statement Pants on Fire.

    I could go on, but won't... how hard is it to find the truth? Not very... but you have to WANT to FIND it.

    August 21, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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