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. Leroy

    Which Romney is lyng' Paul Ryan talking about: The Romney behind Door #1, #2, or #3?

    October 24, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  2. DRE

    Amazing... The GOP always talks about jobs as being the No. 1 thing they are working toward, only until they're elected. Then all they can do is come up with social issues and ship jobs overseas.

    Think about it...

    October 24, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. matt

    The title is that he lays out a solution to poverty, yet the whole article neglects to mention what that might be.

    October 24, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. rj

    So, he will just take the debt and roll it on the states backs. Wow, great plan, said no one Ever!

    October 24, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  5. aflyer guy

    More worthless crap from a worthless turd lying to voters. The gop is finished. The democratic party will win in 2012, and in years to come. America is thru with the tea party, the religious right, and the gop with their pro-abortion/endless wars agenda. Go away gop you are not wanted!!!!!

    October 24, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. Namemontybou

    All those nice words,, yet he said nothing, just like his boss

    October 24, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  7. Omg

    These guys will say anything to get elected. Now just two weeks before the election they attempt to court the low income voters. Flip flop.

    October 24, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  8. oregon alley cat

    As usual, lots of rhetoric and absolutely no details about how Romney/Ryan intend to achieve this. Pour more money into the coffers of those with more than enough already and hope that they deign to share some with the rest of us.

    October 24, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  9. zanny

    as usual he said nothing He knows nothing about poverty. He used a clean soup kitchen as a photo op when dishes had already been done.He washed clean dishes. You are such a phony, Mr. Ryan.

    October 24, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  10. lilisal

    Just another act/tactic like cleaning the already cleaned pots n pans at the soup kitchen. Romney n Ryan could give a flying fig for the "47%" that MAKE this country. Ryan put together a plan, not to help middle America, but suppress us, just like the Rep. Party is trying to suppress the vote by trying every dirty trick and photo op. They are opportunists, feeling entitled WHICH THEY ARE NOT!

    October 24, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  11. Dan5404

    Romney gives money to his church, and that's the majority of his "charity" work. Ryan's attempt to continue the "moderate Mitt" sham is a sham in itself. Neither will convince me that they have drastically changed from their right-wing extremism, but I'm sure that's what they'll try to do right up to the election. After the election, should they win, all bets will be off and the old flip-flop will preceed Romney's unworkable, deficit building plan as they attempt to get it through Congress, which is doubtful. It would spell doom for the progress we have been slowly making under Obama.

    October 24, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  12. Rachel

    Isn't the current federal reforms already allowing people in Ohio to make decisions about Ohio?

    October 24, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  13. fernace

    Solutions? More like a "loveletter" to Romney! The 2 R's have no solutions except take us back to the Real policies of failure of the W Bush era, w/Bush advisors! What is truly disturbing is that Romney is now aligning himself w/Mourdock the r.ape pregnancy is a "Gift from God" senator! How can we trust these people for any "solutions"? It's clear they have an agenda & I'm afraid it does not bode well for any of We, the People, 99% ers which are the majority of Americans! It seems to be geared for the 1% & fundamentalist! Is this what they mean when they say they're gonna " take back America"? If so I have to Go Forward w/Obama, thanks! Obama Nov6!!

    October 24, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  14. LK

    The article's title leads you to believe there's an actual solution laid out. All I read was talking points by Ryan. Those ideas aren't real solutions.

    October 24, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  15. intheknow

    No contraception coverage means there safety net will have to be larger...and were does it say it'll help fight poverty where does it say the wages will be leveled so as 90% of salary goes to top officials ,not including stock compensations, while 90% of workforce fights for scarps and gets only .0025% raises and see forced to do more for longer for less. Now take care of that problem and poverty will be expelled to the pages of history but these greedy rich self centered GOP just wants more money for doing less

    October 24, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  16. Namejerd

    What solutions? I didn't find anything in this article that presents any solutions. They claim its not the governments job to make jobs, but then they claim they're going to create 12 million jobs.. Im guessing military will be the go-to job machine. vote war monger 2012. Iran will be the newer new deal.

    October 24, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Romney/Ryan program for Americans in poverty: Burn the safety net. Cut taxes on the rich. No wonder the Roman Catholic Bishops condemned the Romney/Ryan plan for the poor.

    October 24, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    well lets see,why trade a faithful donkey for a wild elephant&a lama.

    October 24, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  19. DL

    Laughable...firstly the 12 million jobs are Obama's plan, he stole it. Secondly, massive tax cuts for the wealthy which the middle class will have to cover..that is not a solution to poverty. Ending contraception isn't a policy for ending poverty either, it creates it. America if you vote for these guys you truly get what you deserve.

    October 24, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  20. John

    What is the plan exactly? I don't see any sense in Ryan's so called "logic." It looks like he wants to kick the government from providing welfare, but who will replace the government? Romney? I don't think so. LDS? Maybe if all Americans become Mormons.

    October 24, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  21. Debbie

    MItt Romney is on record he doesn't worry about the poor. The solution is to get rid of them. Force them to join religious organizations for food and aid.

    October 24, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. Donkey Party

    Pandering little serial liar, just like Romney. Romney and Ryan would drive millions more Americans into poverty, and take away any help they might have to get out of poverty. The GOP is a bunch of domestic terrorists, they are morally corrupt, they hate America, and they're just as bad as Al Queda, maybe worse, since they're already here in America. Anyone that supports Romney and the GOP is essentially giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    October 24, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  23. ColoradoJoe

    he certainly did not help his own home town (Janesville) when he was in congress, why start now? His OWN HOME TOWN.

    October 24, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  24. johnny

    Really?? You been in Washington how long? And no solution ask this time?

    October 25, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. Mittens

    Either CNN did not do much in terms of a recap or this was more GOP garbage, because nothing he said outlined how they are going to help the poor other than to say its the state's problem...in this case, fine recap CNN, because as we all know there is nothiny of substance to recap when this liar opens his mouth

    October 25, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
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