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. Four and The Door

    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!!!
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    Did everyone who drove that road start a business?

    August 21, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. george of the jungle

    hey sniffit go stuffit or have you been sniffing where you shouldnt be.? Repos getting desperate bringing up stuff that didn't work for them last time around. But then Ryan is trying to stay as far away from the rape issues right now. Since he helped this nut job write the person bill and agreed with him. This has been the repo plan right along but now that it is out in the open they are running away from it. Women voters beware they have been chipping away at your rights for years Vote the repos out. Mitts happy noone asking him about his taxes or off shore accounts today.

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

    "I cant wait for the debates put up or shut up time"

    Sounds good, junior. That means Willard will have posted his taxes so that we can examine them see just how little he paid and how he'd pay even less under his proposal to give himself a nice fat tax cut while you pay for it. I agree debates will be fun, just not so much for you and your boys.

    August 21, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. lnd72

    Pres. Obama:

    "I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart."

    "It must be because I worked harder than everybody else."

    "If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

    Like Elizabeth Warren, he has never built a business. He doesn't understand the risks business owners take to start a business.

    August 21, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Wes B.

    Yum...red meat for the mindless.

    August 21, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. kevin

    What do his fellow cheeze heads think of him waving the terrible towel? That is pandering!

    August 21, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Scott

    Why does Ryan only hunt Catholic deer? Aren't the mormon deer good enough?

    August 21, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Eric

    nothing like taking a tiny bit of a whole speech and making it sound like something else. Eat dirt Ryan because all you spew is garbage.

    August 21, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Me IN HOUSTON

    wOw, so they are really sticking with that whole "you didn't build that" misquote
    doesn't matter if it's wrong. people believe what they want to believe.
    but this really does show that they have nothing to run on other than President Obama
    They want him to look bad....He just doesn't
    Oh well!
    OBAMA 2012!

    August 21, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    Say No to Willard Romney Hood and Personhood Ann Ryand
    "I cant wait for the debates put up or shut up time"
    Sounds good, junior. That means Willard will have posted his taxes so that we can examine them see just how little he paid and how he'd pay even less under his proposal to give himself a nice fat tax cut while you pay for it. I agree debates will be fun, just not so much for you and your boys.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    I'm guessing Mitt Romney's plans and vision forward for the nation will play better than Obama's excuses and insistence that the Stimulus didn't work because $870 billion wasn't big enough.

    August 21, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Did everyone who drove that road start a business?"

    That made absolutely no sense and makes/scores no point whatsoever. Out in right field, you are. Obama never claimed that people who buid businesses didn't build their own business. NEVER. That is an intentional misconstrual of what he said that relies on pulling his words out of the greater context of the sentences before and after it. It's 100% clear when reading the entire quote. And, in fact, on July 18, 2012, Mittens made statements during a speech where he first used his misrepresentation of what Obama said to criticize him, but then followed it up by maknig THE EXACT SAME POINT OBAMA WAS MAKING. But hey, we know you know all that and that you're just trying to keep the misinformation flowing. Carry on...

    "hey sniffit go stuffit or have you been sniffing where you shouldnt be.?"

    Huh? I'm pretty sure we're both opposed to the GOP/Teatrolls, pal...at least if I'm reading the rest of your post correctly.

    August 21, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Lisa P

    "...President Obama sort of drops his veil... He sort of reveals his true governing policy..."

    Paul Ryan, a sort of Catholic who sort of hunts and is sort of serious about fiscal policy except when he isn't, or there are partisan political points to to be scored, is also sort of a liar. Pay no attention to what he says about himself or anybody else: his record speaks for him.

    As for President Obama: his record also speaks for itself. What does it tell you when a liar like Paul Ryan tries to get you to ignore it in favor of nonsense partisan attacks from four years ago? It tells you that Paul Ryan doesn't want you to look too closely at President Obama's record, because you might like what you find. Rovian distortions only fool *some* of the people all of the time; a practiced liar like Rep. Ryan - 14 years of nothing but hot air in the House and a bill to issue some commemorative coins - knows that only too well.

    August 21, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    "Did everyone who drove that road start a business?"
    -----------------------
    What??? See America! Education is important.

    August 21, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. love344@tiscali.it

    lol....I guess if they couldn't twist the "build it" comment..it would be back to birth certificate again...joke

    August 21, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "I'm guessing Mitt Romney's plans and vision forward for the nation "

    You would have to be guessing, seeing as how he's provided not a single solid detail or specific or numbers to back them up.

    August 21, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. lnd72

    @Me IN HOUSTON

    Read the entire quote. He is referring to government infrastructure when he says "you didn't build that", but it's obvious from the earlier part of the speech that he has little respect for those who take the risk to start a business. These are the people that provide many of the jobs our country needs.

    August 21, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Squigman

    Works of fiction like Atlas Shrugged, are just that. They are fiction. The economy of the nation depends on all facets pertaining to the economy. You may have built your business, but it's a good bet you did so using borrowed money. Money that many saved in accounts, that allowed banks to make loans. You may have built your business, but many people contributed in the form of taxation to build the road to that business. You need to be commended for your spirit of self reliance, but you depend on people to be your customers, therefore you are not an island unto yourself. You are a part of the economic puzzle, but you are a part, not the entire puzzle. Be thankful that you are independent, but recognize you are not as independent as you believe. You need people, and you need their money to survive. A thriving economy needs many healthy parts to function. When several pieces get sick, the entire system feels the illness.

    August 21, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Mikey

    @Bugl3t – How dare you interject facts into the argument. You know that creates an uneven playing field in Obama's favor. Truth just has a liberal bias. We should have a level playing field – so both campaigns should do nothing but lie. While this may seem to favor the Romney campaign because they won't need to change their strategy at all and have giained so much experience in lying over the past year, eventually things will even out – assuming Obama can learn to stoop as low as Romney does.

    @anoel2005 – You can always tell when someone doesn't have a good argument. They resort to name calling... and calling the President a Socialist is the preferred crutch of the fact and logic challenged right. Hey, but we really appreciate you yelling your weak stuff at us in CAPITAL LETTERS.

    August 21, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Say No to Willard Romney Hood and Personhood Ann Ryand

    @Four who hilariously wrote: ....insistence that the Stimulus didn't work because $870 billion wasn't big enough.

    Four you're always good to laugh at. Since we're talking TARP, remind me again how Paula didn't vote for the ones under Bush, while you're at it - dust off your etch a sketch and tell us all how the deficit hawk voted against the unpaid for wars.
    Tax returns aren't going away. I'll be here to taunt you on Nov 7th about Four More. Don't be a wimp like Willard and run away during our gloating time.

    August 21, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. McShannon

    Cut out all that supporting hungry children, let them eat at the garbage dumps like they do in Brazil. The wealthy have an obligation to themselves and it's get richer. I really see where Romney and Ryan are coming from I just don't think better informed Americans will buy it.

    August 21, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. JohnReedjr

    I guess Ryan never noticed that when the pie got bigger, the people at the top took bigger slices and people at the bottom got crumbs and the people in the middle got a big enough taste to be able to remember what pie was like.

    remember

    August 21, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Patriot Awesome

    Four and The Door, can you please explain what policies Romney wants to implement that aren't the same or worse than Bush's?

    August 21, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Lisa P

    lnd72

    Pres. Obama:

    "I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart."

    "It must be because I worked harder than everybody else."

    "If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

    Like Elizabeth Warren, he has never built a business. He doesn't understand the risks business owners take to start a business.
    August 21, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    A lot of business owners don't seem to understand, or want to admit, that they didn't build what they built out of thin air. People used to like to say that business built the country, but really business is built *on* the country, which is created and maintained by government. Starve government and you are building your business on sand. You think you took risks when there was a government to enforce laws and regulations and safety standards and contracts? Take a look at Somalia sometime. Practical risks so huge that creative risks and innovation are non-existent. But, hey, the 1% always get their cut. The GOP is trying their darnedest to turn the US into a third world country.

    August 21, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ryan is using "code words" as Republicans always resort to to distinguish race and religion.

    August 21, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    Hey altar boy, why don't we revisit all your votes against women? I am more interested in what you have done against us than what the President has done and, thanks to you and your teapublikkklans, have not allowed him to do since 2009.
    While you are at it – ASK YOUR PUPPETEER TO SHOW US HIS TAXES! I want to see it back to 1999 to 2002 or the SEC papers that shows that he was firing American workers. Just watched an ad that says that he created jobs. Yep, he sure did in India and Mexico.

    August 21, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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