August 21st, 2012
03:51 PM ET
6 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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN

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.

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan • President Obama
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Critical Thinking

    I think that the President meant that they didn't build the roads or bridges, but their tax dollars sure did. People forget, it's not the government's money, it's all of ours. So in actual terms, we ALL DID BUILD THAT infrastructure. And the small businesses DID BUILD THEIR BUSINESSES. But what is more curious is the President's additional comments; "I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. Well I know alot of smart people" or "It must be because I worked harder than everybody else." What he is not saying is that he believes that success is somewhat predefined, that only a certain section of the american people are able to enjoy the success that this country offers. I wonder who he thinks are not eligiable to participate in thie country's success. Could he think that minorities don't have an opportunity to succeed and that it's his job to right the misunderstood wrong? I think that is what he meant by all of this, he thinks that those that are successful are no better than others who are not successful, they are just lucky to not be a minority. That is what I think he meant.

    August 21, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    Say No to Willard Romney Hood and Personhood Ann Ryand
    ...Tax returns aren't going away.
    Let's hope Obama continues whining about tax returns while Mitt Romney talks about recovering America and a vision forward where people are working and the government is capable of fulfilling the promises of benefits to American citizens. The last thing we need are more of the same failed strategies of 2009 and 2010. But we do know the next thing we need. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    August 21, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |

    Morons. It should be "We built it" if they want the sound bite to be grammatically correct. See, they can't even use a quote taken out of context properly.

    Vulture/Voucher 2012: the best the GOP has to offer.

    August 21, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    When you loose in November clown and you will, why don't you apply to be a male stripper? That way, you can stand on stage, swing towels and show off your skinny %ss.

    August 21, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. ndnation23

    lol first, I always find it laughable when a Christian admits to killing innocent animals. Second, Ryan cant decide what side he is on in ANY it his taking money from the stimulus he publicly decried, his stance on rape and abortion, to his budget and medicare programs...flip flop, flip flop...and i thought Palin was a joke.

    August 21, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Fed Up

    The POTUS makes a foolish statement that he actually believes.

    Liberals say that comment was taken out of context. Were statements like "People like to cling to their guns and their religion" taken out of context too? What would happen if a GOP candidate made a sweeping comment regarding a certain demographic of Democrat voters? I would assume it would be labeled as bigoted and hateful. Why the double standards? Democrats are suppose to be progressives that are open minded. Yeah friggen right!!!

    Or was his promise to reduce the deficit by half by the end of his 1st term?

    Or what about his promise to shun Super-PACs?

    What about that promise to defend traditional marriage?

    August 21, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Ancient Texan

    Marie MD- And the folks want to see Obama's records that he spent millions to seal and hide. Also we want to see the Fast and Furious documents that have been given "executive privilege", and the paperwork on Solyndra that showed the owners were big campaign contributors.

    August 21, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Ancient Texan

    Interesting....mention Obama releasing his records.....and CNN will not let it post.

    August 21, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. Christopher

    Right wingers are apparently not immune to political correctness. This is old news, but Obama was simply stating a fact. And look what has happened since he was elected, Republican voters are storing more guns at home and pushing their party to adopt more and more extreme positions on social issues.

    And for the record, I'm a gun owner and, yes, an Obama supporter.

    August 22, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  10. Mark

    Neither candidate has addressed the real problem which is how to increase wages for the middle class and working poor. They are the true 'job creators' because it is the spending of these folks which drives demand which in turn will create jobs. Giving more money back to the people who already have most of it won't do a thing except widen the income gap.

    August 22, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  11. JimB

    Desperate. They must think they are losing.

    August 22, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  12. ST

    Ryan is exactly the same like his boss Romney. This team is totally an empty suit. If you are a challenger, you come with something different and sell it to people. You don't go after your opponent and don't represent the alternative. Romney/Ryan ticket has made the whole campaign 2012 boring and not from Obama side. He (Obama)needs a really challenger and the opposition side are not up for such kind of an assignment!

    August 22, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  13. josh101

    We did built it... It sounds so ego-centric... Do you really think you did that all by yourself?? You did not have help from family, you don't feel that living in the United States helped you? Well, if that is what you think, go and see if you get your business going i rural Russia... I am sure you'll be just as successful.

    I, for one, feel very fortunate to live in the United States and gladly acknowledge the country that helped me be successful!

    August 22, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  14. v_mag

    Ryan wants to return to 2008? Good. That puts us back into the Bush regime, and it gives us a great opportunity to examine where Ryan and his running dog Romney want to take us when they talk about "taking the country back". There's not a dime's difference between the policies of Ryan/Romney and Cheney/Bush. The R/R team is fully backed by the Bush crime family, and they will institute the same great notions that led to the Great Recession.

    I have been asking for months for some Repugnant to answer this question, and it has so far gone unanswered:

    How is Romney any different from Bush?

    Romney = Bush = disaster.

    August 22, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  15. Marie MD

    When are you going to drop YOUR veil boy toy?
    You have plenty of votes against women and your Medicare/social security plan will send seniors to the poor house.
    Is bishop daddy going to continue to speak for you regarding akin? Remember him? You and akin vote on anti women, anti citizens on everything!!

    August 22, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  16. GI Joe

    Paul Ryan wants to control the body of every woman in the U.S.

    If she gets an abortion (legal) she will be put in prison for murder? Yet they yell about helping the children already alive get something to eat.

    Shame on Paul Ryan.

    August 22, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  17. Yonni

    What happened to the Ayn Rand objectivism? does not apply any longer for Ryan principle. Now he is making up his own facts. His monitor and idol is rolling in grave.

    August 22, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. MidWest


    Really – your best comment is Christians killing innoncent animals??? Where do you think your meat comes from? Are the animals that are only used for slaughter as guilty? Here in the MidWest we hunt for a number of reasons. First it is healthy for the animal population or they get disease and inbreeding. Second as a means to feed their families. Some hunt for trophy's and give the meat to the food shelters to help other families. Get a grip!

    August 22, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  19. TY

    Whoever believes what Ray say is foolish, his record speaks for self. So you can say what you well about the President, but Ryan is a LIAR and he does have a agenda to destory the American People. How can anyone be on Ryan side when looking at his record. He came from the Party of NO, and now he trying to tells his something different.
    The truth about him is right in your face. Be for him if you will my friends, but you are voting against self.

    August 22, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. Mike

    It;s hard for Obama to do anything but slam Romeny sicne he has done nothing positive for this country. Even him taking credit for getting Bin Laden is a lie. Hillary had to push him to d so after he pulled back 3 times and he stands in front of the country and takes the credit. It's a joke. Time to cut our losses with this guy before it's too late.

    August 22, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  21. mikey

    Obama has already accused Romney of killing a guy's wife, being a felon, being a tax cheat, being a money launderer, closing factories just to abuse families, being a draft dodger, torturing a dog, and assaulting a fellow student. The Occupy Wall Street movement is the best illustration to date of what President Barack Obama's America looks like. It is an America where the lawless, unaccomplished, ignorant and incompetent rule. It is an America where those who have sacrificed nothing pillage and destroy the lives of those who have sacrificed greatly.. The left is using any event as a distraction as it pursues the Saul Alinsky tactics of community organizing. Obama's game plan is to divide the community into the Haves and the Have Nots, make the Have Nots believe they are unjustly treated by the Haves, build resentment against the American social and economic system, use church congregations to mobilize street agitators, and lobby government for higher taxes and big-spending welfare programs in order to confiscate the wealth and power of the Haves and turn it over to the Have Nots.

    August 22, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  22. mcjny

    Extremely fair play for ryan to quote old obama promises or speeches. As long as..he owns up to the fact in the bush administration, ryan was a vocal proponent of keynesian deficit spending to boost the economy and create jobs. Then magically, During the obama administration, ryan was become a fierce opponent of the stimulus and virtually all spending except military. Meanwhile, off camera and in the background was getting federal stimulus money for his state. Let the entire hypocritical truth be put on display. for both candidates.

    August 22, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  23. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    This is rapidly becoming the Ryan-Romney ticket and Ryan wants to give Romney a tax rate of .08% and have the rest of us pay for it-He is the same as the Forcible Rape guy-he want to abortion exceptions even to save the life of the mother, a halt to birth control making it a crime with "personhood" but once the babies are born you're on your own-no help anywhere -you are not to rely on any govt help-The wealth of the middle class to going to be given to the top 1% and the rest of the peons are on their own-no education, no college, no food stamps,and your jobs overseas-prayer will be the answer to ALL your problems

    August 22, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  24. Expat American

    The GOP cares about women.
    Romney and Ryan will put women who have been raped or have been victims of incest in jail.

    August 22, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Lindsey

    Of all the things that I detest about Ryan, I have to add the fact that he has the coldest shark eyes I've ever seen to that list. To match his personality, I guess.

    August 22, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
1 2 3 4