Ryan lays out GOP solution to fight poverty
October 24th, 2012
06:11 PM ET
1 year ago

Ryan lays out GOP solution to fight poverty

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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Filed under: 2012 • Ohio • Paul Ryan
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain: The GOPs policies are all PROVEN FAILURES

    Touting Mittens' charitable contributions and serving as a lay-minister means absolutely ZIP when you take a look at the requirements of the Mormon church to be a Mormon in good standing with all the perks that entails.

    Mittens 'n' Munster are just a couple of lying, self-serving jerks! They can spin all they want, but Mittens is on video saying that he doesn't care for the poor and that 47% of our people are lazy moochers; Munster's ideal is Ayn Rand who promoted a completely self-centered philosophy of utter disdain for the poor and those who choose to help them.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane chocie

    October 24, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. md

    What a bunch of malarkey coming out of Ryan's mouth!

    October 24, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Name

    What's the plan? Oh again didn't hear one we'll make what's already in place tighter and give it to the states Pres Obama was lampooned for allowing states to hansle their welfare to work programs...again no specifics...what a headline...I thought there was a plan

    October 24, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Well, you know, I didn't see a plan, muchless a solution, to pull Americans out of poverty, set forth in this report. He proposes to let the states run our anti-poverty programs. But that is no plan. The states are financially strapped as it is. State taxes will have to go through the roof if that happens – and that means sales taxes, the most regressive, market-killing taxes we pay, will rise sharply. And all the federal lay-offs will dump a million more people into poverty at the same time. That is not a plan, it is a disaster standing at the door.

    October 24, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. A Kickin` Donkey

    If you are a woman and you vote for a Republican, at any level, then you are a delusional fool. Don`t you have the good sense to demand that GOP politicians stay out of your reproductive health matters? Romney won`t fight for equal pay for you and backs the legitamate rape cronies.

    October 24, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. NameDavid

    Nothing new here!

    October 24, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Rob

    So no details whatsoever. Just broad, vague promises that contradict everything we actually know about GOP policy.

    October 24, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. James L.

    Ryan has voted for every policy and war that has crashed this economy and sent people into poverty. He did nothing to curtail the fraud the banks perpetrated in the mortgage industry. And he continues to lie to the American public about comprehensive insurance, deliberately misleading people into thinking religious organization will be forced to do anything (they are exempt under Obama-care). A man who's family has made a fortune for two hundred years from government contracts, a man who went to college from Social Security, a man who has been on a government paycheck all his adult life, is on the record for cutting the very things he has benefited from from the average American. Vote Romney/Ryan at your peril.

    October 24, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. ga.democrat

    The solution to fighting poverty is to keep Romney and Ryan out of the White House.

    October 24, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. ronb

    Well. If it ain't "Lyin Ryan". Thank goodness everyone is getting to see the real GOP before election 2012! Too bad Akin, Murphy, et al couldn't keep their big mouths shut until after the election!!! Darn!

    October 24, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Marty, FL

    Romney-Ryan's budget was criticized by Catholics as immoral for its unjust cuts to the poor and middle class to give more unaffordable tax cuts to the rich.

    Lyin' Ryan sadly lacks credibility on the issue.

    October 24, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. Craig RB

    Since when did Republicans care about poverty....oh, that's right we're in election season.

    October 24, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Lonnya

    Ryan can take longer than anybody I know to say absolutely nothing. Where is the policy in this so called policy speech? What a con job!

    October 24, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. shelbyanne

    Ryan's plan is rich people donate to themselves to get write offs. Real homeless people in soup lines are the ones who need support. Paul Ryan is too busy to help out.

    October 24, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. Mitt RobMe

    Well, If I read the article correctly the only specific thing Ryan said they would do to end poverty is to remove the mandate that requires insurance companies to cover contraception. This is either a very poorly conceived policy, a poorly written article or both.

    October 24, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. Name OutOfTheBox

    The REAL Republican plan to end poverty is simple: tell all the poor people to go to the superdome, and leave them there. For days. No more poor people = no more poverty?

    October 24, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. independent

    Is it logical that God intended for you to get pregnant, but not raped, if the pregnancy occurred when you were raped? It doesn't make sense. If life is a gift from God, and you get pregnant from a rapist, then it would appear that the rapist and the rape were a gift too.

    I am not saying that life isn't a miracle, in general. It is. However, maybe not each and every pregnancy is a specific gift to to that person at that time in that way. What else makes sense?

    By the way, Ryan is against most forms of contraception, almost all abortion and the Civil Rights Act. Do you really want to vote for this guy?

    October 24, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. incredulous

    Ryan's plan is simple, take away affordable health care, cut nutrition programs for poor children, eliminate help for the elderly and disabled. Once they all die off there are no more poor people to worry about. This is why the church he likes to talk so much about condemned his budget.

    October 24, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. brobin

    So... first step is to take back Obama's welfare change to give more flexibility to the states. Step two, eliminate Federal mandates, give the money to the states, and let them do what ever they want with it....

    Does this guy even read his own copy. flexibility bad. Solution, flexibility.

    October 24, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. Name

    This party is out of control. 1950s

    October 24, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. SokrMom

    The GOP solution to poverty is to make rich people richer. That's certain to be good for the poor!

    October 24, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. CW988

    they probably will just kill off the 47% and be done with it.

    October 24, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. JohnO

    Yeah, Ryan. Tell it to Ayn Rand.

    October 24, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. DRAKE MALLARD

    This guy doesn't get the economy: Romney's campaign is based on the notion that because of what he did running investment firm Bain Capital, he understands the economy. So it's perfectly reasonable to examine what his experience at Bain really taught him. After all, Bain wasn't in the business of creating jobs; it was in the business of making money. The truth is, the high unemployment rate is due to people like Romney outsourcing jobs. That's why middle-class Americans are suffering so much. China didn't just steal our jobs all by themselves. Romney and other profit-driven executives like him wrapped up the jobs in a great big package, put a bow on it, and gave the jobs to the Chinese. Now, maybe the Chinese would have taken some of them on their own, but Romney didn't have to push the jobs out and happily give them away. Mitt was a pioneer in sending jobs out of the United States to China. This is the person you want to be president of the United States

    October 24, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. Noakes

    I believe that Ryan's solution to poverty is along the lines of "Eat the poor."

    October 24, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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