Cleveland, Ohio (CNN) - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan laid out a vision for lifting people out of poverty while speaking Wednesday in an area of Ohio that Barack Obama won handily in 2008.
"Many of those who are living in poverty today were in the middle class just a few years ago," said Ryan. "Sadly, in four years and now in four debates, neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden has offered the American people an agenda for a second term, but we know what it would be: more of the same."
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Ryan, a seven-term congressman and House Budget Committee chairman, tried to dispel the notion that Republicans, and his running mate Mitt Romney, "think everybody should just fend for themselves."
"My party has a vision for making our communities stronger but we don't always do a good job of laying out that vision," he said before a crowd of 600 at Cleveland State University.
He added a Romney-Ryan administration "will not defer to the Washington-knows-best crowd" when it comes to helping low-income families.
The policy-focused speech was a departure from rallies and town hall meetings Ryan has held just about every day since he became Mitt Romney's running mate on August 11. Rather than speak off-the-cuff from notes like he does at most rallies, this time he wore a suit and delivered prepared remarks from a teleprompter.
In an apparent effort to blunt the portrayal of Romney by Obama and his re-election team as an out-of-touch wealthy businessman, Ryan said his running mate's experience in the private sector uniquely qualifies him to manage an economic recovery, which he often says, but for the first time Ryan showcased Romney's personal contributions to his community.
Ryan said Romney is a "man who could easily have contented himself with giving donations to needy causes, but everyone who knows him will tell you that Mitt has always given his time and attention to those around him who are hurting."
"As for Mitt Romney, he not only understands the importance of community – he's lived it. He's a guy who, at the height of a successful business, took the time to serve as a lay pastor for his church for fourteen years, counseling people in Boston's inner-city neighborhoods, especially when they lost a job," Ryan said of Romney, who himself has been reluctant to discuss publicly, particularly as it relates to his Mormon religion.
The vice presidential hopeful compared Romney to his mentor, Jack Kemp, whom he considered a "champion of growth and prosperity."
"Over many years, Jack set his mind and heart to the problems of poverty, brushing aside a lot of the old assumptions and the settled attitudes," he said after being introduced by his mentor's son, Jimmy Kemp. "The same holds true for Mitt Romney. If you want to know how Mitt Romney will lead our nation, then look at how he has led his life. He's a modest man with a charitable heart. He's a doer and a promise-keeper."
In his 25-minute address Ryan spoke broadly about how a Romney-Ryan administration would tackle the issue of poverty.
"Where government is entrusted with providing a safety net, Mitt Romney and I have our own vision for how to keep it strong. It is a vision that leaves the failures of the past in the past, and proposes instead to build on those reforms that have worked," he said.
He praised the landmark Welfare Reform legislation for making "major strides toward getting the government out of the business of fostering dependency" but noted the "welfare-reform mindset hasn't been applied with equal vigor across the spectrum of anti-poverty programs."
"For starters, a Romney-Ryan administration will clearly restore those parts of the welfare-reform law that have been undone or weakened," he said. "The federal government would continue to provide the resources, but we would remove endless federal mandates and restrictions that hamper state efforts to make these programs more effective. If the question is what is best for low-income Ohioans, shouldn't we let Ohioans make that call?"
The Wisconsin lawmaker received a standing ovation when he said, if they win the White House, Romney will get rid of the Obama administration's mandate that all organizations, including those based in faith, pay for health insurance that covers contraception.
"This mandate isn't just a threat to religious charities it's a threat to all those who turn to them in times of need. In the name of strengthening our safety net, this mandate and others will weaken it," said Ryan.
Ryan also stressed the need to address government spending and the nation's increasing national debt, and he reminded the audience of the campaign's five-point plan and their goal of 12 million jobs over the next four years.
He reiterated their core message, "above all else is the pressing need for jobs."
After his swing-state stop in Ohio, Ryan traveled to the reliably-red Georgia, focused on helping the GOP fill its campaign coffers with an evening fund-raiser in Atlanta. On Friday, he will raise money in two more Republican stronghold states, South Carolina and Alabama.
Later Friday, Romney and Ryan will rally supporters in Ohio, and on Saturday, Ryan kicks off an eight stop, 400 mile, two day tour of the Buckeye State.
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The first step in overcoming poverty, would be to reach compromise, consensus, and cooperation in Congress... instead of this perpetual tyrannical rule from either the right or left every other 8 years or so.
First step in overcoming poverty would be to reach consensus, compromise, and cooperation, instead of a perpetual cycle of Republican or Democratic tyrannical rule to ever get anything done!
The one who supported the auto Industry in Ohio has the full moral authority to help us than the on who run away from helping us.
It is very clear like day and night. It is not easy for us to forget Obama after he worked so hard for Ohio.
After someone else worked so hard you want to come and get our votes for free?
I have already voted for Obama
Let me guess, less taxes for the rich and they will finally find the compassion in their hearts to give good jobs to people, pay them above minimum wage, take a paycut from their CEO salaries and give back to the worldif need be , if only they paid less taxes. Ha. Right. Romney and Ryan's plan to reduce poverty is a pipedream created by a leprechaun and delivered by unicorn. The rich are rich because they learned all their lives to NOT share their money and take as much as possible, pay as little in wages as legally allowed and in the case of Wall Street bankers, commit massive fraud. Greed is their only virtue.
1 second ago ( 6:16 PM)
His first policy speech, pick on the poor!
Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut.........
All those "tax loop holes" the rich use, nothing
Poverty? What poverty?? Obama says everything is great. He never lies. Jobs everywhere for those that want to work. Happy days are here again. Trust him. He would never lie to you. Honest, those people that died in Libya? Work place violence. Pay no attention. Trust him. He would never lie to you.
People who vote for Romney/Ryan ticket you are voting against your own interest. WAKE THE !! UP
In 13 years as a Congressman, Ryan has not accomplished anything that merits dog catcher, much less the VP. Ryan has had two bill he authored make it to law...one to rename a Post Office and the other to cut the federal tax on arrows. This is the sum of his accomplishments in Congress. 2 bills..13 years in office. This is not just shameful, but the worst dole of taxpayer welfare you can find.
But this is on Romney, he picked him knowing full well this man had never done anything notable in his service to America. His "Ryan Plan" never became law, but Romney will take it and make it his "Romney Plan". When that plan goes into effect, the losers will be those on Social Security and Medicare. That plan puts the heavy axe on those two programs. If you don't think so, google Ryan's Plan and read it. It's there for all to see. These two guys are playing folks for fools, particularly the seniors who will exchanging thier Medicare for a coupon/voucher. Good luck with that.
Excellent message from Paul Ryan. The 12 million (+) jobs that will come from a Romney Administration recovery will be much better for many of the people who are struggling with poverty than government dependence. Sure there is a lot of fear when the President and his $500 million campaign tries to cast Mitt Romney in a way that makes him look awful, but people have a tendency to pay attention and with a message like this from Paul Ryan does not play on fear. It plays on optimism and confidence. This is more respectful of the audience.
Mr. Ryan would like us to forget that he has been in Congress for at least ten years. He has had ample time to work with his colleagues to confront the poverty issue and to seek solutions. He did not do so. In fact I wonder what bills in Congress did have his name on them.
Mr. Ryan and the Republicans decided not to support any legislation which would help this president to get re-elected. Now that decided that on January 20, 2009, and even announced it during an interview on national television. To now tell us that they will work on poverty is outrageous. Citizens of this country who found themselves unable to find work, to provide food, clothing and housing for their families and unable to have health insurance needed help. Yet, Mr. Ryan would like us to believe there is a program to help now. He just sat there and did nothing.
Know who you are voting for. It is very difficult to support someone who sat in Congress and did nothing. Mr. Ryan will not get my vote.
Does it include finally passing a jobs bill without a partisan poison pill?
"Ryan lays out GOP solution to fight poverty"
Really? Where in this article do you justify the headline? Where did he lay anything out other than ideological platitudes and more vague rhetorical nonsense? Where did he talk about what they plan to do to Medicaid, particularly in light of the Kaiser Family Foundation's study showing that the House budget plan Ryan championed and passed...TWICE...would completely kill Medicaid? Ryan didn't "lay out" anything other than more unspecific, detail-less blather.
Where in this article do you justify this headline that makes it seem like Ryan actually talked about specifics instead of just continuing to blather undetailed ideological platitudes and vague rhetorical vomit?
If Ohioans want the freedom to do what they wish with money provided by the federal government, then federal taxes should be cut by a proportionate amount, Ohio taxes raised by a similar amount, and then the citizens of Ohio can do whatever they wish with the money.
Your headline was misleading. Ryan didn't lay out any solution.
What I got out of the speech is you cannot rely on government programs for help regardless of how you landed in the situation you are in. In the future, your church and neighbors should be the ones to help. In other words, you are on your own.
Hey lyin-Ryan your mentor Ayn Rand philosophy is totally the opposite of what you are trying to preach now. Did you repaint or re-baptized again what happened?
Interesting that Obamacare and Romneycare are exactly the same thing – but the President's plan identifies a way for the math to work. Romney's healthcare proposal is exactly like all of his promises – completely lacking any specifics to explain the math. He will hand Medicare over to insurance companies and Social Security over to Wall Street. They aren't called "Rob-Me" and "Lyin' Ryan" for nothing!
Whatever you are trying to sell us, we are not buying it.
Romney feels 47% of Americans are parasites, including disabled veterans, seniors on Social Security and Medicare, and anybody who needs help while they look for work. These same fat-cats want us to believe they have a plan to help the poor? Romney is just a slimier version of George W. Bush – he and Lyin' Ryan are lap dogs for the rich and can't be trusted to ever tell the truth. Where are their tax returns?
Pathetic plate faced, big eared, ugly nose lyan altar boy telling US who lives in poverty?
Can he truly look at his master and not realize that they are part of the problem not the solution?
Seniors will go bankrupt if these two mutants are elected. I hope Wisconsin doesn't give him either job he is running for. Let's see this fool try to get a real job. Maybe that wife of his can learn how to put on an apron and go work at a soup kitchen for real.
His solution to fight poverty is probably to literally fight with punches and kicks against the poor.
Ryan is pushing to get food stamps cut by 10 million people, he has also said the Republicans are going to do away with Medicaid. Medicaid helps the absolute poorest people in this country. It doesn't sound to me like Ryan gives a rats ass, about the poor in this country. We wouldn't have so many poor, if the Republicans hadn't allowed so many of our jobs to be sent to Mexico, China, and India. Thanks GW Bush and Haliburton Cheney, for your trickle down Globalization, and Free Trade, that cost this country millions of hard working people their jobs.
The truth is that society's elite have lost faith in this country. They will lie/cheat/steal in order to push their tax cuts as a prescription for this country's ailments. If you give them this chance, they will not create jobs. They will hoard wealth until this great nation collapses and then move on to the 'host' to suck the blood out of.