Ryan lays out GOP solution to fight poverty
October 24th, 2012
06:11 PM ET
6 years 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. David

    Ryan should be on SNL.

    October 25, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  2. Name

    All I got out of his "plan" was: welfare reform (creating more poverty) creating jobs (how? Cutting taxes for the rich who just line their pockets) and cutting down the debt (which isn't possible with lower tax rates and and all the job losses we will surely have with all of the spending cuts to federal programs) and the repeal of Obama care and cuts to planned parenthood, which will provide us with more babies who need government assistance to eat.

    October 25, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  3. Darrell

    The man who developed and presented a budget that slash government spending for the working class and the poor. A wolf in sheep clothing.

    October 25, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  4. 2020

    oh, ic. Ryan tugged away 2 Trillion dollars in budget to help the kids, the poor.

    WOW, did he just have a heart transplant?

    October 25, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  5. wiki

    As a Massachusetts citizen who grew up there for the majority of my life, Romney has proven to be a flipflopping politician who spent the majority of his last year (2006- 2007) campaigning for the republican nomination for president instead of concentrating on his duties.

    You say no more 4 years of Obama. Well, I had 4 years of Romney and I choose Obama instead. I am a republican moderate and I do not trust whatever comes forth from Romney's mouth.

    October 25, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  6. Doug

    Ryan said: "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?"

    But that is exactly what the Obama administration did when it gave waivers to a number of states so they could pursue alternative methods to those "federally mandated". And the Romney/Ryan campaign put out ads for months claiming that in doing so, Obama had "gutted" the Welfare Reform law and changed welfare-to-work back to just welfare! Hypocrites!!

    October 25, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  7. Magranel

    Both the Republican and the Democratic presidential candidates talk about liberty, freedom, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise, choice, and the Constitution. But neither candidate believes in those principles. Elect either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, and government will be bigger, spending will be higher, regulation will be more intrusive, the military will be fighting more wars, more service personnel will be dying, more money will be wasted abroad, civil liberties of more people will be violated, and more privacy of more citizens will be invaded. Overall, the free society will continue to retreat.

    Vote Gary Johnson 2012

    October 25, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  8. Brain

    I dont know what he was trying to accomplish.

    October 25, 2012 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  9. RyanO1974

    Obama has the right plan... a plan that he has always stood by... not changed to gain political points like Romney.

    October 25, 2012 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  10. dahdit

    Apparently Rom n Ry's solution to poverty is to dismantle federal oversight and just hand our taxes to the decidedly more parochial and corrupt state governments. Begging for private charity shouldn't be a problem for these unfortunate 'victims', after all only wealth bestows dignity.

    October 25, 2012 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  11. John

    Romney and rand will say anything to anyone about anything to get elected! They care about helping the poor as much as they care about women's rights, the elderly, the 47 percent, glbt, the military veterans. They are in this for the wealthy.


    October 25, 2012 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  12. Patchygroundfog

    Quote from story: "Ryan's proposal ... would reduce federal spending by $1.7 trillion and Medicaid enrollment by 50 percent, resulting in a loss of insurance for 35.7 million Americans."

    What he's really saying: "Hey, folks, I know how we can reduce health care costs! We stop insuring millions of Americans, many of them children!!" Ryan says.

    The societal impact - people don't get preventive care. Illness is.Ignored. They 're later picked up by ambulances or show up in emergency rooms in serious life-threatening conditions and cost added millions, or in Ryan's best-case scenario, they just die. Social Ryanism: Survival of the Richest,

    "Bring out your dead!!" Ryan chants with a smile, pushing the GOP body wagon down your street.

    The Romney/Ryan vision of America is dark and bleak and cruel and cold. On so many fronts. Let's stop them here and now.

    Vote for compassion, for social responsibility, vote for Obama/Biden in 2012. Because they care about ALL of America , and together we can do this.

    October 25, 2012 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  13. dj

    Still waiting the headline says lay out plan to fight poverty

    October 25, 2012 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  14. blessedgeek


    October 25, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  15. GI Joe

    ha ha ha h ha he has to wear heels on cowgirl boots to make himself look big. ha ha ha ha ha ha

    October 25, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  16. Name Tall Tom

    It is NOT the responsibility of the Government to solve YOUR problems. The responsibility lies squarely upon your OWN shoulders. They are not there to serve you. You exist to serve your masters as you are the enslaved.

    Has it not been made clear? Listen to what Ryan says. The problem is that the message is not well delivered because the truth will shock you. The Government is the institution that IS the NEEDY as it is truthfully BANKRUPT. You need to support it as it cannot support itself...or you. Wake up.

    October 25, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  17. cruzctrl03

    The “haves” and the “have nots”: The majority of hardships and tragedies happen to the common people living in Americans; we the “have nots” have more to worry about, more at stake than the “haves”. Crime, job loss, and the stresses of raising our kids to be better than their environment are just some of the worries we face on a daily bases. I’m not saying that the “haves” don’t or never face adversity; adversity happens to all of us but the level of risk is not as high as it is in the urban cities of America and in some cases the advantages the “haves” have, gives them the edge to overcome these adversities. The trickledown economics theory Republicans believe in will create a greater divide in America, the “haves” will have more and the “have nots” will continue to struggle to get up. We need to find a way to build pride, instill value, and ambition where it is most needed; this, and finally getting the “haves” to pay their FAIR share of taxes is the way to build up America.
    With everything we see and hear coming out of the Republican Party it’s inconceivable to believe that they want to help the less fortunate people of America. Paul Ryan’s speech to the poor is like if Hitler told the Jewish people living in Germany, Don’t worry it will be alright, trust us.

    October 25, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  18. cruzctrl03

    I realize that my last post might offend people reading it, I apologize in advance for the comparison, and maybe I should have compared Ryan’s speech to Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre…. People don’t drink the Kool-Aid

    October 25, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  19. TomInRochNY

    They feel the need to raise money in republican strongholds? Interesting.

    October 25, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  20. timbo

    Where is this photo from? PLain Dealer showed him in a suit and said he used a teleprompter. NO suit or teleprompter in this photo.

    October 25, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  21. ruemorgue

    Party Of God's Plutocratic Solution - export them to Mexico.

    October 25, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  22. Name gmbhadiza

    i actually think Romney is a 'doer and promise keeper'. He is listens attentively to opponents. He aggrees with their suggestions when necessary. He will make a good USA President.

    October 25, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  23. Anonymous

    "If the question is what is best for low-income Ohioans, shouldn't we let Ohioans make that call?"
    Is this what most Americans want? If you happen to live in one of the poorer states, screw you. States like Mississippi do not have the money to provide adequate safety nets to the poor, including children. We are ONE country.

    October 25, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  24. livingston

    Gop solutionn to poverity – 1. Deny healthcare by making it unafordable

    October 25, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  25. Poggly

    "If the question is what is best for low-income Ohioans, shouldn't we let Ohioans make that call?"
    Is this what we want? If you happen to live in one of the poorer states, screw you? States like Mississippi, do not have the money to provide an adequate safety net for the poor, including children. The federal government should provide a floor for benefits for all people in the country. States could always provide more if their voters desire, just remember, some states cannot.

    October 25, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
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