Paul Ryan ties Obama to Carter on eve of Dem convention
September 3rd, 2012
06:39 PM ET
9 years ago

Paul Ryan ties Obama to Carter on eve of Dem convention

Greenville, North Carolina (CNN) – At a Labor Day rally, Republican vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan raised the question 'are you better off' and compared President Barack Obama to one-term President Jimmy Carter.

"You see the president has no record to run on. In fact, every president since the Great Depression who asked Americans to send them into a second term could say that you are better off today than you were four years ago, except for Jimmy Carter and for President Barack Obama," said Ryan.

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The 1980 presidential race was largely defined by that question after Republican Ronald Reagan posed it rhetorically at the end of his only debate with Democratic incumbent Carter.

Republican running mates Mitt Romney and Ryan are hammering that same message after prominent Democratic surrogates couldn't give a definitive "yes" to the question in various television appearances over the weekend. On Monday Democrats seemed more certain, though still attempted to balance touting improving economic data with the tough realities that many Americans still face.

The seven-term Wisconsin congressman delivered the GOP's counterattack at a rally before thousands of people at East Carolina University, located nearly 250 miles from Charlotte where the Democratic National Convention is being held.

"In 1980, under Jimmy Carter, 330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy. Last year, under President Obama's failed leadership, 1.4 million businesses filed for bankruptcy," Paul said. "Take a look at people who are having a hard time making their mortgage payments, 77,000 delinquent mortgages by the time Jimmy Carter left office. Under President Obama 3 million."

Ryan's campaign later clarified that he was mentioning total bankruptcy filings, not only business filings.

He continued, "So when you take a look at what we are going to hear in Charlotte today, the president can say a lot of things and he will, but he can't tell you that you are better off. Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are right now."

Obama's re-election team defended the president's record and said their GOP challenger was "waxing nostalgic about how things were three decades ago" with the comparisons to Carter.

"The truth is that under the President's leadership, we've gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to adding 4.5 million jobs over the last 29 months of private sector job growth," Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement.

Republicans have long sought to portray Obama as unqualified to the challenge of fixing America's ailing economy, and much of last week's Republican National Convention was spent attacking Obama's record on jobs creation.

Romney's campaign said the theme would continue through the week, leading up to Obama's acceptance of the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.

A new poll indicates Romney has a slight advantage in North Carolina. Obama narrowly won the battleground state four years ago. He was the first Democrat to carry the Tar Heel state in a presidential election since 1976.

"Your country needs your help. Eastern North Carolina is so crucial and important to this," Ryan told hundreds in one of two overflow crowds on Monday. "This election is one of the most defining election of our lifetimes, no matter what generation you come from."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Ryan,you're something ,you wouldn't nor Romney could make a pimple on Pres.Carters butt.He's done as much after his presidency than you two have since birth and getting more respectible every day.Ever heard of Habitat for Humanity,he invented that and when foriegn countries like Isreal and others need competent mediators they don't call Bush or any republican,they rely on Pres.Carter,they know his word is his bond.Ya definitly can't say that about any of your presidencial candidates,go back years not one could you depend on for honesty,truthfulness as he,so don't act ignorent which you are anyway,just speaking his name without reverence makes you totally pathedic!!

    September 3, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. mig

    Ryan is more the problem than the solution. What congress do you remember hearing a member say we are going to be sure he's a one term president.What kind of Americans are they?What is the Republican party turning this country into? What a bunch of trailor trash. Yet they are convincing people that they represent the best interests of the poor and middleclasses as the give all the breaks to the wealthy.when you see posters supporting their position you have to know they are being paid off by the wealthy so they can keep their prescious tax breaks! Cheap scun!

    September 3, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. mig

    I realise you have a reading comprehension problem.It took 3hours to moderate my last comment and then it never got on did it Adolf? You must be a born again or an Evangelical.

    September 3, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Facts don't LIE

    this is really TOO funny for words. At the RNC convention not ONE speaker nor candidate wanted to tie themselves to the last Republican to hold office for eight years GW Bush. In fact the GOP hopefuls wanted all of us to forget the Bush years and just think of a gap between Clinton and Obama. And for "Lying Ryan" to try to tie Obama to Jimmy Carter which was eons ago compared to President Bush is laughable at best. They didn't even have enough respect for President Bush to honor him at their convention. "Lying Ryan" should be ashamed along with the rest of his clan, unless of course they are ashamed of Bush!

    September 3, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. PJ

    Too funny!
    Speaking of "running on records", just heard a report that Ryan couldn't even tell the truth about how long it took him
    to run a marathon – of all things! His brother "corrected him at dinner". He shaved over an hour off of his actual run
    time. Small potatoes, but if he can't tell the truth about this, he will stretch anything, and already has in his speech
    at the Convention.
    The fact checkers will have to work overtime on this guy.

    September 3, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. RudyG

    To compare Obama to Carter is absolutely Carter!
    Everything went wrong for the man, but at least he had IDEAS.
    Obama has no clue as to how to get the 14 million unemployed working again.
    And please, blogging idiots, don't give me the Repug stuff, I'm an INDEPENDENT who voted for Obama!
    He's out of gas, except when it comes to campaigning tactics.
    I have my doubts about Romney; but I have NONE about Obama!

    September 3, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. Marty, FL

    Look at the latest numbers if we are making real comparisons, Romney is Bob Dole with Bush policies.

    September 3, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. enuff

    Ryan was PART of the past 4 years, him and his obstructionist partners in congress... or has he forgotten that part? Reagan could at least say he wasn't there when it occurred. Ryan helped it along.

    September 3, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. myviewis

    Unfortunately for North Carolina their unemployment is at 9.6%.

    September 3, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Patricksday

    Paul Ryan has already demonstrated that he is a plain out Liar with the misinformation he is putting out even on his own personal history. When you tell the Truth you NEVER trip your self up in your story, this guy does. He is a loyal servant to the Tycoons who are working very hard to put their puppets in office in November, but the American People can hear when people speak from their Heart like President Obama.

    September 3, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. unretired05

    Of course Ryan has a low opinion of Jimmy Carter. He was the most honest, truthful and caring president of the 20th century. Ryan believes Regan was wonderful. He did more to destroy the middle class than any I can remember. Of course when the GOP reminisces about Regan they always forget the Iran Contra deal and good old Ollie.

    September 3, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. af. color

    For all his political trouble as President, Carter is still 1000 times the man Ryan will ever be.

    September 3, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. af. color

    Paul Ryan voted for


    Medicare expansion,


    the 2008 AND 2009 stimulus,

    Iraq War

    Voted to raise the debt ceiling under Bush

    ....all of which added to our deficit....

    but remember....he's the fiscal on

    September 3, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Dawn

    I agree that both Carter and Obama are socialist pea brains who damaged America immeasurably, but that is where the comparison ends. Carter has compassion, and will bare his sleeves to help. Obama is a hatemonger and a snake oil salesman who cares only for himself.

    September 3, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. Lar5

    Romney and Ryan ant to go back to the future.The “good old days” that the republicans would like is a return to the 1950′s or before.Those were the days went blacks were considered 2nd. class citizens, when women were expected to excel in the kitchen and bedroom, when mixed race couples were spat upon, when Jews were restricted from may organizations, hotels,industries and clubs, when abortions were done in back alleys, and when we had a lily white majority everywhere. The tea party, Ryan, Santorum and his followers have this dream taking The United States back. Back from whom? It’s really a nightmare.

    September 3, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. g

    if he,s not crying he,s lying

    September 3, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. Steve J

    In 2011, 47,806 American businesses filed for bankruptcy. So Paul Ryan claimed 1.4 million and missed by over 1.35 million. Odd that such an easily Googled lie was quoted without question in a purported news article. What are reporters supposed to be adding to the discussion again?

    September 3, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. Romney/Ryan Are So Last Century

    "Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are right now."

    Really, Paul Ryan? Well, honestly, today looks a whole lot better than under George W. Bush. The Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we were under Bush, and today looks better than both. You and Romney just can't stop focusing on the past can you? Obama is right about you two imbeciles, you really are the throwback team. You guys want to talk about the past all the time, but you idiots won't talk about George W. Bush (and won't talk about George H.W. Bush either, for that matter). You have to go clear back to the 80s and wax nostalgic about Carter versus Reagan. It's just stunning ignorance on your part to try to compare Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter and Mitt Romney to Ronald Reagan. Romney is no Reagan, and he never will be. The 80s are long gone so get over it. No one that is living in this century stupid enough to believe the crap you are selling. Romney/Ryan are so last century.

    September 3, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. Thomas

    I agree that both Carter and Obama are socialist pea brains who damaged America immeasurably, but that is where the comparison ends. Carter has compassion, and will bare his sleeves to help. Obama is a hatemonger and a snake oil salesman who cares only for himself.

    You don't know the true meaning of Compassion !

    Romney = GW Bush
    Brainwashed 2012

    September 3, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. CBR

    Mr. Ryan. Considering that your party has done nothing to help our country to move ahead it is surprising that you take this tack. President Carter may have made some mistakes but he went back to Georgia and began projects to help people everywhere. His successor had difficulties as well. Iran Contra, Mr. Stockman's economic and budget views, questionable foreign policy moves including the assault on Marine barracks. Mr. Ryan would have us go backwards instead of forwards. His idea is to romanticize the past instead of moving ahead.

    September 3, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. ronb

    LOL. Who believes a guy who even lies about his time in the Boston Marathon??! Better question is WHY would he lie about it when the records are kept and easily verified!!? C'mon man!

    September 3, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. Marilyn

    Ryan and his party have no shame, their party got us into the worst recession and he expects everyone to forget that fact, he says Obama hasn't fixed their mess, after making it impossible for him to do so, so he would not be re elected, he reminds me of Cheny, selfish and evil. Everyone better be careful not to vote for these war mongers that think they are great because they hold these positions. They would rather see our country go down than help it recover under Obama.

    September 3, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  23. meb

    How would Ryan know anything about the Cater years? He was between 6 and 10 years old standing in front of the mirror lying to himself about something.

    September 3, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  24. LD

    Paul Ryan is the poster boy for angry white men.

    September 3, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. Thomas

    Unfortunately for North Carolina their unemployment is at 9.6%.

    Isn't it unfortunate that B of A and most major Banks corporate headquarters are located in Charlotte NC and they still are at 9.6% unemployment .

    Romney / GW Bush 2012

    September 3, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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