Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan accused President Barack Obama on Sunday of running a campaign based on distractions to avoid confronting his economic record and of promoting “stagnation that fosters dependency” rather than opportunity.
“The economy is growing slower this year than it grew last year and last year it grew slower than the year before. So since the president cannot run on his record, he has to tear down (Republican presidential nominee) Mitt Romney,” Ryan told a fundraising audience of about 250 people at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont.
“He has to divide this country. He has to distract this country. He has to distort Mitt Romney’s record and try to win by default. And you know why we’re not going to let him get away with it? Because you’re here today to give us the resources we need to make sure that he doesn’t get away with it,” said the seven-term Republican congressman from Janesville, Wis.
The Romney campaign offered no details on how much the fundraiser — with individual tickets listed from $2,500 to $75,800 — generated for the presidential effort. But supporters said Romney’s successful performance over Obama in last week’s first presidential debate increased demand for tickets.
Campaigning just outside the Democratic president’s hometown of Chicago, Ryan repeatedly contended Obama’s campaign was focused on trying to divert voters from the president’s White House record through increasingly negative attacks on the Republican ticket.
“The president would love to make this big election about little things, about distractions. We know better than that,” Ryan said. “It’s time that we need real leaders to make real decisions and not to kick the can down the road, not to blame other people. And that’s our commitment. We are not going to defer these problems. We are going to run at these problems so we fix these problems before they get out of our control.”
Ryan said the choice in the Nov. 6 election was whether to elect the GOP ticket to put “these pro-growth solutions in place that have a dynamic growing economy that fosters opportunity, or we can have more stagnation that fosters dependency.”
“We knew they would throw the kitchen sink at us,” said Ryan, who was joined at the fundraiser by his wife, Jenna.
“We knew, with their 2-to-1 outspending on TV in a lot of these states, that they would try to muddle and confuse. But we knew coming into this final phase, the debate and choice phase, we would have the opportunity to offer our fellow countrymen and women a very clear choice. People are beginning to see that clear choice,” Ryan said.
He said voters were starting to see the “hollowness and the emptiness of the empty promises and broken promises” of Obama.
Ryan noted that during the recent Chicago Public Schools strike, he and Romney sided with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the Chicago Teachers Union. Emanuel was Obama’s first White House chief of staff, a former senior aide to President Bill Clinton and one-time Democratic congressman.
“When special interest groups stand between that mom in inner-city Chicago who's working a couple of jobs with her three kids, from getting those kids out of failing schools and into good choice or charter schools, we need to push the special interest group aside and let these kids get the kind of education they need,” Ryan said.
“We were proud — and I don’t say this a lot — but we were proud to stand with Rahm Emanuel when he took on the teachers union at the beginning of that fight. Too many other people were silent on this. We’ve had the same thing in Milwaukee and Wisconsin,” he said.
The vice presidential nominee said a victory over the Democratic White House would give the GOP team “the right and the moral authority and the mandate to make things right and turn this around. But here’s the good news, if we simply reapply those core principles that made us so great as a nation in the first place — liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination, government by consent of the governed … we can turn these things around.”
U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, a Peoria Republican who serves with Ryan in the House and also has been a Romney surrogate, launched the general program by comparing Ryan to incumbent Democratic Vice President Joe Biden. Biden and Ryan hold their lone vice-presidential debate later this week.
“If you stop and think about what Paul Ryan has done from the time he came to the House at 28 and juxtapose that to our current vice president, who came to the United States Senate at age 29, how different of a career one man has made in his first decade versus what another man has attempted to make in four decades in the Congress — a mountain to a mole hill,” said Schock, who is a potential candidate for Illinois Republican governor in 2012.
Outside the hotel, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a member of the House Democratic leadership team, accused Ryan of pushing federal budget and tax plans that would hurt the middle class and seniors. She appeared with a person dressed as “Sesame Street” character Big Bird, a reference to Romney’s pledge to end federal funding for public broadcasting.Copyright © 2015, RedEye