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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Already voted.....Romney/Ryan 2012
How long has Ryan been in Congress ?
He just thought about this when , last week ?
There is nothing in here that is new news. Ryan/Romney don't care about the average American, and they lie to your faces. Shame on those who would not support a US President who has done so much to improve the lives of Americans. He has turned the economy around, given provided a path to healthcare insurance for millions, and all the Republicans will do is cut more taxes for people who don't need it, start a war with Iran and run up the deficit. Get smart America don't buy their lies an half truths. Obama '12!
The GOP doesn't care about the poor, much less the 47%. They stand only for the 1 % and have signed Mr. Norquist's pledge. They are all about redistribution of wealth to the rich.
Where is the solution?
Like you really care for the poor, you and your washing clean pots at a shelter. Create some decent jobs and the poor won't need any programs except better education. I'm not seeing the GOP doing that. It will be harder to fool people who can read, write and reason.
Ohhhh Lyin Ryan....The same guy who wants to cut benefits from the poor
I still dont know what thier plan is. ??
The best thing for the men and women of america is jobs....Romney/Ryan 2012
I remember back in 2008 when Obama talked about working with all sides and he had one really good idea I wanted to see implemented which never was. He rambled on about how important it was for public/private day care endeavors so more working poor women would want to work and not stress about the cost of childcare for their little ones. It was just a ploy to get the poor women's vote at the time. Obama doesn't look for remedies to the causes of things, he looks for ways to make the symptoms worse. If he can everyone mad at each other and blame someone down the street instead of him, he can keep talking about nothing of substance. And he succeeded at that didn't he? Endless talking, endless forcing of his narrow minded views, endless frenzy to get us to turn against each other and worship him. Endless ignorance about money, economics, and high standards of operating. He has no right to ask for another term. I'm still waiting for the child care collaboration thing. It ain't happening with him at the helm that's for sure. Poverty is a game to him. A ploy to keep everyone in a state of constant fury and chaos. He wants fury to take over our Nation for neighbor to fight neighbor. Well, sorry Mr. President. It's not us against us, it's America versus you!
In other words, he has no plan. Give states money but don't hold them accountable for results is not a plan, it's a recipe for corruption on a massive scale. Good times for the powerful, disaster for the powerless. Same with telling faith-based organizations that they can police their employees' (and clients'?) personal lives. Does anyone at all remember what power does? People haven't changed, and washing a pile of clean pots won't do anything to change them, no matter how many pretty photos get taken. Don't be fooled by this faker.
Ryan and Romney care less about the poor! LOL!
I am sick and tired of people who pretend to care about the poor. How the heck will you be able to afford to keep the social programs around that aid the poor when your plan is to cut taxes? Where will the revenue to pay come from? Oh that's right, the real plan is to cut the programs and leave it to cash strapped states to fend to for themselves.
Oh how I wish the republican party would separate itself from backwards social issues so we really could embrace a decentralized government, reduce federal dependance and give programs and responsibilities to the states.
But you cannot, in the same breath, support heavy handed government meddling in social issues around lifestyles and choice.
Talking about empowering poorer or disenfranchised Americans in one sentence and then attacking the availability of birth control in the next makes me sigh and vote for the democrat yet again. Responsible family planning and prevention of pregnancy are so central to helping people avoid and escape poverty it's just ridiculous to pretend that they are at odds.
I swear, each party is so realistic and reasonable on one half of the issue spectrum and then insane on the other... this is why people become one-issue voters!
What about the people Lyin Ryan plans to put into poverty by destroying medicare, privatizing social security, and eliminating the safety net to many depend on for survival at one point or another. Both Willard and Lyin do not care about anyone but the wealthy.
A budget hawk wants to so suddenly help the poor? OH PLEASE!
STEP ONE was looking in the dictionary to see what the word "poverty" means.
"My party has a vision for making our communities stronger but we don't always do a good job of laying out that vision,"
The only good job your party can do is invade countries, start wars, deny women's right and obstruct the President!
Did I hear Ryan say, they were in the middle class til 4 years ago? When so many were plunged into poverty at the end of the Bush days. Did he say that they were the SAME poor people from 4 years ago? He's not so sure is he? He's clever with words isn't he. Please people. Don't be so naive. He sells snake oil for Romney's snake oil factory. Are you buying?
"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. "
Yeah, let's fill the country up with people so we can send them off to war in foreign countries. Let's not forget to deny them healthcare.
Pick one: If A, you are beyond hope for help
What an obnoxiously fluffy article. "Ryan lays out GOP solution to fight poverty" was the headline. Then, after reading through multiple paragraphs full of tedious platitudes and no real substance, I finally get to something a little more specific:
"' 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. '"
Can someone explain to me how this is going to reduce poverty rates?
"'Ryan also stressed the need to address government spending and the nation's increasing national debt,'"
We all know that in order to balance our budget without cutting spending, we will need to make drastic cuts to domestic safety net programs. Again, how is this supposed to reduce poverty rates?
Then there was a mention about Romney's 5 point job "plan" - which is just another long list of platitudes and glossy soundbites with no specifics on how anything is going to be implemented.
Overall, a very week and substanceless 'fluff' article.
It is a fascinating tactic to fault the opposition for having your deficiencies.
If you believe this, I've got some swamp land in florida for sale, cure for cancer, cure for the common cold and remedy for getting rid of world hunger in 2 months!
he is trying to back pedal the 47% comment but we all know the truth