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Posted September 14, 2012 | comments 12 Comments

Paul Ryan in Harrisonburg: It's the economy

Republican vice presidential candidate campaigns in the valley

By Jeb Inge - jinge@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- It was all economics for Paul Ryan in Harrisonburg on Friday.

The Republican vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin congressman spoke to a crowd of thousands at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds, calling for change in Washington and a return to what he called traditional American values.

Amidst a sunny backdrop of hay bales, American flags and hats marked with the word freedom, Ryan praised the scenic beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.

"This is one of the most beautiful places in the country," Ryan said. "I have canoed this area, fished this area, backpacked this area, and my phone has blaze orange and camouflage."

His outlook on the American economy is less optimistic. Ryan cited the recent August jobs report as proof that the Obama administration recovery policy is failing.

"For every person that found a job last month ... four people stopped looking for a job," he said. "This is not what a recovery looks like."

Ryan also attacked the Federal Reserve's recent decision to enter into large amounts of quantitative easing, or bond buying, which it hopes will stimulate economic growth.

Ryan called the Fed's decision, which he described as "sugar high economics," a poor substitute to "pro-growth economics."

"What we need isn't more money printing. What we need is more wealth creation, more job creation and more risk taking," he said.

"Borrowing, spending, regulating, taxing, printing - if all of this worked, we would be entering a golden age along with Greece," Ryan said to laughter.

For Ryan, four more years of an Obama administration would lead to a "welfare state with a debt crisis just like Europe."

His solution: Mitt Romney, who Ryan deemed a "turnaround specialist."

"He is a very successful businessman, and you know what, being successful in business is a good thing in this country," Ryan said in a veiled response to criticism of Romney's involvement in alternative asset management firm Bain Capital.

"We don't resent other people's success, we're proud of it," he said. "We grow the pie, we don't fight over slices of a shrinking pie."

Ryan outlined Romney campaign's strategy for recovery -- the "Romney/Ryan Plan for a Stronger Middle Class," which Ryan calls pro-growth economic policy for an "opportunity society."

The plan, according to Ryan, breaks down into three parts: using domestic energy sources, increasing U.S. exports, and reducing the size of the deficit.

Ryan advocated an increase in domestic energy supply, including coal, natural gas, oil and nuclear power.

"This is a jobs machine. Let's turn it on and let's not have this administration continue to turn it off," Ryan said to rancorous applause.

Ryan also sees increasing U.S. exports as a means for the country to return to economic leadership.

"America was the leading manufacturing country for 100 years until 2010," he said, citing China as the No. 1 exporter of goods.

"This is a country that does a lot of things that aren't necessarily fair, and we have to hold them to account for that," he said.

The third part of the plan - reducing the national deficit - is what Ryan said he considers paramount to American economic recovery.

"We know just as much as night follows day; as the sun comes up tomorrow, that we will have a debt crisis in this country as long as we continue on this path we're on."

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, authored the fiscal year 2012 Republican budget proposal, "The Path to Prosperity," which passed in the House of Representatives along party lines and failed in the Senate in a 57-40 vote.

That proposal called for massive reductions in federal spending, reforms to federal welfare programs, and the closing of loopholes in the federal tax code.

Ryan also praised small business owners and echoed the "we built it" phrase popular among Republicans on the campaign trail.

"I am proud to stand with a man like Mitt Romney, who knows firsthand that if you have a small business that you built that small business," he said to what may have been the biggest applause of the rally.

The "we built it" mantra being used by Republicans is in response to President Obama saying at a July rally in Roanoke, "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that."

Ryan urged the crowd to vote in November, calling this election the most important in generations.

"No matter what generation you are in, this is the most important election in your generation," he said, calling the election a "defining American moment."

Ryan called the election a referendum on the role of government in society. For Ryan and Romney, that role is as a catalyst for individual freedom and deregulation.

Ryan appealed to the crowd's Virginia heritage, quoting Thomas Jefferson and saying that individual rights come from "nature and nature's god, not from government."

"The basic choice is this: do we want to reclaim that American idea; that opportunity society with a safety net, that prosperity society where everybody can make the most of their lives and their god-given potential?" he said.

"The government works for us, and not the other way around."

As of Friday, the Rasmussen Reports' daily presidential poll showed Romney with a lead over Obama, with 48 percent of respondents supporting Romney, to Obama's 45 percent. Two percent of respondents preferred another candidate and 5 percent were undecided, according to the poll.

However, in Virginia, which along with Ohio and Michigan is widely cited as a key battleground state, Obama maintained a 1 percent lead over Romney (49-48) as of Thursday. The poll has a sampling error plus or minus 4.5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence, according to Scott Rasmussen.


    It's about time someone told the truth about the miserable state of the economy in Virginia. Ryan is a straight shooter who is showing his depth and versatility on economic issues. Pretty substantive speech for a rally. Good show, Paul.

    Agreed, Ryan is a straight shooter. It is about time to drop the fantasy of a good economy in Virginia. It stinks and everyone seems to be in a holding pattern. The banks are refusing to lend to small business. WCEDA lost an excellent prospect when not one bank would loan money to a company with a pristine record. Way to go, Badger.

    truth? straight shooter? You people have gone off the deep end. Well, apparently that's not news actually on one poster but thats neither here nor there.

    There is simply no excuse for avoiding reality and not researching things on your own. This is the age of information. You have the gift of a vote in who runs this country, do a little research and don't blindly bah bah along.

    *Going to bed shaking my head again that anyone thinks Lyin Ryan is even moderately honest at this point.*

      It is so frustrating! We can talk until we are blue in the face but people just "fall in line". Katybug, you, Jane and a few others have tried over and over to get people thinking and checking facts. It's so easy to blindly go along with these empty promises and lies.

      Oh well, Obama is making a comeback anyway and he's going to win in November. Then we all need to put some pressure on these politicians. None are blameless, but this Romney/Ryan ticket is downright scary!

      Looking forward to the debates early October. Hope everyone watches.

    Way to go NVD for continuing to print the "we built it" lie. That is not what Obama said at all. The fact the republicans are using that as their slogan speaks volumes to me. People may actually wake up if our media started doing their jobs.

    I also enjoyed his comment about all he has done here in the valley. We may want to fact check that too. As we all know he ran a marathon in 2 something hours ....oh wait he forgot to mention the other 2 hours! Simple lie but one must ponder the reason for that lie.

    As far as the rest of his speech blah blah blah. He is just another Sarah palin picked by the republicans because they think we are all that simple minded.

    Interesting that Ryan did not discuss his plan to scrape Medicare and replace it with a voucher system. Perhaps the reason is that it has found no favor among seniors including even his running mate.

    "Straigtshooter""depth and versatility"
    I as well as many other's are totally Baffled at what is printed in these local biased papers!
    This lier Ryan and Romney will destroy our country as we know it.
    Almost everything out of Ryans mouth is a LIE. He's against Gov. handouts but HIS hand has been there for $$$$$MILLIONS$$$$$! He's against student financial aid from Soc.Sec. but that's how HE got his education payed for.
    I could easily fill multiply pages with the BS coming from this guy and the GOP as a Whole!
    Hey, Your buddy Mitt thinks the MiddleIncomers are in the, Ready for this??? $250,000.000 range. I guess that makes the poverty leval somewhere around $50K huh?
    What a F-in Joke!!!!

    Hmmmm..... So I have a choice between normal politically motivated liars or the Chicago based thugernment. Looks like a write-in candidate for me this time around!

    We have got to sort all this out because the whole state is being led to believe that Ryan & Romney have some kind of saving-grace plan when in fact all they have is rhetoric that doesn't add up. There are no specific details about how they will account for “repealing Obama-care” and inside their own ranks after Romney made a slip suggesting in an interview that well perhaps all the parts of it are not so bad. I am finding these days far to unsettling because we have a new radical Republican “base” (if that’s what it is called) striving all it can to embarrass, humiliate, upstage, and hurt the President and his family in every possible way except “normal” – it is incredible to realize that I am living amongst a hating population that is not only reticent to seeing our political structure collapse that they have essentially agreed to destroy the economy if necessary to remove our Black President. And now, in the aftermath of that vicious hate clip on Islam that has so ignited the Muslim world reminding them once again that we have half of our population just like them – ignorant and hateful of all things that they know nothing about all while clinging to failed tenants of a radical side of religion. The Republicans right now, that is this wonderful Ryan and Romney team is just as much a suicide vest for this country as the Iranian nuclear program is. Netanyahu made no ease of the situation with winks and nudge-nudge points all while saying the relationship between Israel remains strong but makes no praise of President Obama. George Will says “his friend Netanyahu” and Obama are not close, but do they respect each other. Many Israeli’s – such as Danny Haloutz – former IDF Chief of Staff and very accomplished fighter Ace – talked quite candidly at Brookings that the road to war using “Red Lines” against Iran get bogged down in all the wrong details. The Republicans, our Virginia Republicans, and the draft dodger Romney Republicans who now use the same set of suspects from the Neocon ranks of the Bush Administration and who never served a day in their lives in combat, to steer non-binding etch-o-sketch chest beating war drums all to disrupt the delicate diplomacy and military planning activities that now dominate the President’s time.
    Listen idiots – this is from me – if Israel jumps off to attack Iran it will also pre-empt this with a massive series of strikes against Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Syrian military capability especially its chemical weapon capability. Even before the first waves of IAF jets start suppressing and pounding those nuclear sites return Syria’s Assad and his Alawite Generals will have decided to use chemical weapons or surrender to total chaos. If they do then Israel will respond in kind with chemicals several generations more refined and whatever Rules of Engagement (ROE) that might have provided some cover for the civilians will be gone – hundreds of thousands of casualties will occur in just a few days. Now for sure the Israeli Air Force will pump out over 700 sorties a day hitting Iran in a way that even they would not expect and the west has totally underestimated the combat power of Israel – that may have been good – bust against an Iran it will take more than an unprecedented three reinforced armored divisions in a fast moving blitzkrieg across Iraq or Saudi Arabia – even perhaps in a welcomed manner as the enemy of my enemy is my friend for the moment anyway – because Iran will come back throwing weapons in all directions at any and every target possible. This would mean guaranteed that the United States is ALL – IN, and for the world this has just become WORLD WAR III and it was imitated by the State of Israel and there Republican hate groups in the United States. Now this will shake the world, it will trash economies, and for sure it will reduce the United States to a wounded third world country as Russia, China, and India stand by. Iran’s allies will expand the proxy wars and the push to eventually make this a nuclear war will be as critical as ever, well beyond the Cuban Missile Crisis.
    The great American Army is essentially broken right now and SOF forces, under deployment by Obama into the region for the past two years will do some good, but when the Israeli’s wind down from exhaustion – perhaps around 45 days later – or when they have finally lost their support in the Sunni Arab world for atrocities, and there will be no prisoners in this conflict, then who will get stuck holding the cleanup bag. American’s who now do not want this war to happen pre-emptively because the Republicans will be running for their holes and lying their way out of everything as Condolezza Rice starts rewriting the history books. It is that bad and we are now one step away.
    Over the last couple of days US Marines and UK troops have been killed by Taliban, Al Qaeda, and Afghan turn-coats all inspired by that film. Six Harrier jets were destroyed – and that is nearly all that the Marines have in the region. The idiocy of hate embraced by the radical Republicans is getting us killed all for their sick desire to destroy a Black President. All I can say is that these time sat least let me now know who are my neighbors because this kind of craziness mirrors in the personalities of those who use it, and so we can all see now just what makes up Virginia.

    Well, according to the question Romney/Ryan keep quoting, "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" I have to answer "yes". So I'm voting for Obama.

    Evangelical fundamentalist Christian Republicans want their godly religion to control the state and everybody's lives, they don't want women to control their reproductive health, they don't want health care for anybody, they don't want Latinos to have citizenship, they don't want blacks to vote, they sold their presidential bid to the highest bidder, they want the wealthy aristocracy to control our democracy...

    Can someone show me where freedom kicks in if the Republicans win the elections?

    I voted for Obama once, I will vote for him again because four years after Bush I am better off today and with Bin Laden dead yesterday I am safer tomorrow.

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