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Vice president nominee Ryan accepts 'calling of my generation'

By David Espo

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:59 p.m. HST, Aug 29, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. >> Seizing the campaign spotlight, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan accepted “the calling of my generation” to help lead the country in tough times tonight and told roaring Republican National Convention delegates and a prime time TV audience that Mitt Romney and he will make the difficult decisions needed to repair the nation’s economy.

“After four years of getting the runaround, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Gov. Mitt Romney,” the 42-year-old Wisconsin lawmaker declared in what amounted to a debut on the national stage. However, the nation’s attention was divided: He spoke at a convention dogged by Tropical Storm Isaac, downgraded from a hurricane but still inflicting misery on millions along the nearby northern Gulf Coast.

“We will not duck the tough issues; we will lead,” Ryan said.

His speech was part attack on Democratic President Barack Obama and part spirited testimonial to Romney, all leavened by a loving tribute to Ryan’s own mother, Betty, 78, seated across the hall in a VIP box. “To this day, my mom is a role model,” he said while she beamed and exchanged smiles with one of his children as delegates cheered their approval.

A generation younger than Romney, he emphasized their differences as well as their commitment to tackle the economy.

“There are songs on his iPod which I’ve heard on the campaign bus — and on many hotel elevators,” he said to laughter in the hall.

As for his own favorites, he said Romney “actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, ‘I hope it’s not a deal breaker, Mitt. But my playlist starts with AC/DC and ends with Zeppelin.”

Turning serious, he said of Obama and the Democrats: “They’ve run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division is all they’ve got left.”

To the cheers of the delegates, he pledged Republicans would save Medicare from looming bankruptcy, despite constant accusations from Democrats that the GOP approach would shred the program that provides health care to more than 30 million seniors.

“Our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate,” Ryan declared. But he offered no details of the remedy Republicans would propose.

Romney, in a secondary role if only for a moment, accused Obama of backing “reckless defense cuts” amounting to $1 trillion. Addressing the American Legion in Indianapolis, he said, ‘There are plenty of places to cut in a federal budget that now totals over $3 trillion. But defense is not one of them.”

In Tampa, the Romney team scripted an economy-and-veterans-themed program and kept a wary eye on Isaac. The storm remained a threat to levees in the New Orleans area almost exactly seven years after the calamitous Hurricane Katrina.

Inside the convention hall, delegates cheered a parade of party leaders past, present and — possibly — future.

The presidents Bush, George H.W., elected in 1988, and his son, George W., winner in 2000 and 2004, were featured in an evocative video. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the party’s 2008 nominee, spoke on his 76th birthday and said he wished he’d been there under different circumstances. And an array of ambitious younger elected officials preceded Ryan to the podium, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John Thune of South Dakota among them.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised the Republican ticket in a speech that made no overt mention of Obama. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will rebuild us at home and inspire us to lead abroad. They will provide an answer to the question, ‘Where does America stand?”’

The congressman’s speech skipped lightly over inconvenient facts.

He assailed the stimulus legislation that Congress passed at Obama’s request in 2009 to help stabilize the economy but neglected to mention that he asked for some of the resulting funding, which eventually went to two Wisconsin energy conservation companies in his home state.

He also accused Obama of taking more than $700 billion from Medicare to help finance the president’s signature health care law. But he didn’t mention that a pair of tax and spending plans he authored as chairman of the House Budget Committee retained the cuts and put the money toward deficit reduction.

Ryan said he was accepting “the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us.”

He added, “The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

“And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have much time.”

As he spoke a pair of electronic boards tallied the nation’s growing national debt, approaching $16 trillion overall and more than $5 billion since the convention opened.

Ryan’s vice presidential acceptance speech marked a prime-time national debut by a relatively young lawmaker lauded by fellow Republicans for his understanding of the complexities of the nation’s budget.

Romney tapped Ryan this month as his running mate, a selection that cheered conservatives who have doubted the presidential candidate’s own commitment to their cause.

If Ryan’s selection was designed in part to appeal to conservatives, the convention was scripted to strengthen the ticket’s appeals among women, Hispanics and others who prefer Obama over the Republicans, as well as veterans who supported McCain in 2008.

Romney delivers his own nationally televised acceptance speech Thursday night in the final act of his own convention. The political attention then shifts to the Democrats, who open their own convention on Tuesday to nominate Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for a second term.

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harryuhanejim wrote:
Hawaii Republican John Carroll: "I believe that Ms. Lingle is a clear and present danger to the economic and political health of this beloved State of Hawaii." (Hawaii News Now).
on August 29,2012 | 07:50AM
kolekole wrote:
She beat Mazie once, she'll beat her again. Everybody knows wher Mazie is.....nowhere! Seriously, all of Mazie's commercials talk about "My mother & father was from Japan. My father abused my mother " Blah bla bla bla What is that all about? SERIOUSLY, Lingle will be great for Hawaii. Vote smart!
on August 29,2012 | 08:56AM
st1d wrote:
funny how mazie's hazy ads don't mention that her mom was born in hawaii, returned to japan when she was 15 to get married, and how she later returned home, to hawaii with the help of her family here in hawaii. looking for the pity vote instead of the smart vote.
on August 29,2012 | 09:13AM
Fred01 wrote:
Being from Japan is reason enough NOT to vote for her!
on August 29,2012 | 10:07AM
Denominator wrote:
So are you voting for John Carroll?
on August 29,2012 | 04:57PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
NO, I want somebody more relevant than the 82 year old sourpuss....like maybe Bula'ia. Anybody.
on August 29,2012 | 05:23PM
kolekole wrote:
The Republican Convention? Small mention down on the sub-title down below. Shame on the Honolulu Star Advertiser! Let's see how they report their favorite son Obama next week. We all know where the placement will be. On the front top section with big headlines about the Democratis Convention. This Paper is Politically Biased without any good investigative reporting. Reflects the ownership.
on August 29,2012 | 07:53AM
Paulh808 wrote:
You hit the nail on the head!
on August 29,2012 | 10:57AM
hanoz808 wrote:
I hardly seen ANY minority in the audience during this broadcast......hmmmmm.... makes me wonder...
on August 29,2012 | 02:06PM
kolekole wrote:
Figure it out!. If your Mayor (In this case, Marrion Barry,) smoked crack cocaine and your constituents voted him back in office, you get to see the mind set and the mentality of the MINORITY. It's called DENIAL! A minority denied. This kind of idiotic voting mentality has no place not only in the Republican party but only very conspicuously in the Democratic patyt...Hmmm...
on August 29,2012 | 02:41PM
onwardupward wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on August 29,2012 | 04:52PM
Denominator wrote:
As opposed to no budget at all? Just raise taxes so we can keep going further in debt? Keep pandering for votes while the country sinks? Obama is specific - he thinks he's entitled to 100% of everyone's income and if he allows you to keep any of it, you should be thankful.
on August 29,2012 | 05:01PM
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