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Remarks with Paul Ryan and Ann Romney at a Campaign Event in Jacksonville, Florida

September 01, 2012

RYAN: Thank you. Thank you, Jacksonville! Hey, wow! Thank you so much for your hospitality. It is great and you know what, Florida is going to elect Mitt Romney the next president of the United States, aren't you? That's right. [applause] We have our better halves here on stage with us, my wife Janna and you all know Ann Romney because she gave what a speech in Tampa. Wow. [applause]

And we're here with our Florida family resident. My mom Betty's up over there. She's a resident here in Florida. We used to come down in spring break. It's a little cooler then. But you know what, we've got a big choice to make as a country. And our country has seen bright days before. Our country — and they say this is kind of insulting or something in Washington. But I'm going to say it. We are an exceptional nation because of what we have done for ourselves, because of our principles. [applause]

I look around here and I see veterans, I see Air Force, I see marines, I see Army over there. I see a lot of Navy. [applause] Thank you for your service to our country. You make us proud. But we have a big choice to make and the hospitality we got on the other side of the state in Tampa, thank you, Florida, thank you, Tampa, for giving us this great sendoff because we're giving the country the plan to get America back on the right track. [applause]

You know, President Obama inherited a difficult situation when he came into office, as he has reminded us a time or two. Here's the problem. He made things worse. We're not better off. We're worse off. So here's the question. Without a change in leadership, how are the next four years going to be any different than the last four years? We need leadership. We need to fix this country's problems before they get out of our control. We want that opportunity. Society with a safety net, a society of upward mobility where everybody can make the most of their lives. That's the American dream. [applause]

What is so special and so precious about this time, about this moment is that this man and this moment are made for our history. I have never seen a man and a moment come so together so well like Mitt Romney is providing the kind of leadership we need. [applause]

AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!

REP. RYAN: Look at his life. Look at his values. Look at his achievements. Remember the Olympics back in the late '90s in Salt Lake? Remember the wasteful spending, the corruption, the abuse? Sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it? What did they do? They looked around America and they said we need a leader to come fix this mess and fix the Olympics. They called Mitt Romney. He dropped everything. He came to Salt Lake, lived there for three years and turned the Olympics around and he made us all proud. [applause]

And this is a man who knows firsthand how to create jobs. This is a man who started successful businesses, who turned around failing businesses. This is a man who knows firsthand how to create jobs because he created tens of thousands of jobs. I tell you what. I am proud to stand next to a man who knows that if you have a small business, you built that small business. That's your achievement. The government doesn't get credit. You do. And by the way, being successful in business, that's a good thing in this country. [applause]

We don't resent that. We take pride in that. Look at the contrast between these two individuals. President Obama came in with all this rhetoric and all these lofty promises. They've all been broken. He promised to cut the deficit in half. No. He said he'd prevent unemployment from getting above 8 percent. It's been above 8 percent for 42 months.

AUDIENCE: Boo!

REP. RYAN: Because of his fundamental lack of leadership, the credit rating of our country was downgraded for the first time in our history.

AUDIENCE: Boo!

REP. RYAN: Look at what Mitt Romney did and accomplished as governor of Massachusetts. He lowered unemployment. He increased family income $5,000. He improved the credit rating of his state. He got people back to work. And more importantly, remember the president when he used to say we're not red states, we're not blue states, we're the United States of America. [applause]

Remember he used to say put aside childish things. This is the third president I have served with and I have never seen this kind of partisan acrimony. I've never seen this much dysfunction and gridlock. What did Mitt Romney do as governor of Massachusetts, a state where nearly 9 out of 10 of the legislators were in the other party? He didn't demonize them. He didn't make fun of them. He actually worked with them and he balanced the budget without raising taxes. [applause]

This is more than just about jobs. This is more than just about turning around our economy. This is the most important election in our lifetimes no matter what generation you come from. It's really a question about who we are, what kind of country we want to have, what kind of people do we want to be, what kind of legacy we want to leave to our children and our grandchildren. This moment requires leadership. This moment requires people of principle. This moment requires action, not blame. Mitt Romney is the man for this moment. [applause]

Here is our pledge. We will not duck the tough issues and we will not kick the can down the road. We will lead. We believe in prosperity. We believe in the opportunity society. We believe in a strong national defense. We will not set aside these responsibilities of America. And we will not spend the next four years blaming other people. We will take responsibility and fix this country's problems. [applause]

And we will not try to replace our country's founding principles we will not try to transform this country into something it was never intended to be. We will reapply our founding principles. That's who we are. That's what we do. [applause] Ladies and gentlemen, it is in our hands. It is in your hands. Florida, Floridians, you have a major say-so. You have a big responsibility and a big opportunity.

If Florida goes the right way, America goes the right way. [applause] You know what, we're going to do this. We're going to get this done. We're going to fix our problems and we're going to do this because we're going to elect the man who's standing next to me as the next president of the United States. His name is Mitt Romney. And he's going to be the next president of the United States. [applause]

MITT ROMNEY: Romney, Ryan! Romney, Ryan! Romney, Ryan!

AUDIENCE: Romney, Ryan!

MR. ROMNEY: That's quite a welcome. Thank you! Thank you! I brought with me the brains of my family and the beauty. I saw her in high school.

She was 15-years-old when I really took notice of Ann Davies, now Ann Davies Romney. I told the guy she came to the dance with that I'd like to give her a ride home because I lived closed to her home than he was. She agreed — or he agreed to let me do him that favor and that's been a favor I won't soon forget. My sweetheart, Ann Romney. Come on up here and say hi. [applause]

ANN ROMNEY: Wow, Jacksonville! Thank you, Jacksonville! [applause] I think that this town can do something. You can let everyone in the whole country hear your voice today. You can let everybody know that guess what's going to happen in the state of Florida, in the town of Jacksonville. We are going to elect the next president of the United States. [applause] Well, it's a hot day. You guys are great. I know you didn't just come out just because you think these two guys are great. You came out — maybe you do. But you came out because you love America. [applause]

My grandfather came from the coal mines of Wales without a penny in his pocket to this country. My father was 15 when he immigrated. And they came for hope, for opportunity, for a better life. And now, it's our responsibility to make sure that our children have that same promise. We are going to make sure that this guy works every day and that we hear your voices, we know why you're here and we're going to take America back. Thank you so much. [applause]

MR. ROMNEY: She is the best! Now, it's great to be here in Jacksonville with my friends in Florida. You're going to help us win this thing. [applause] I've noticed it's slightly warm today, just slightly. I appreciate your being out here in the warmth like this. And I have something to ask you to do and I'm going to convince you to do it by the time I'm finished I believe

I need to ask each one of you to find one person who voted for Barack Obama last time. And they're out there. I know that you can usually tell where they are because on their cars you see the glue from where the bumper sticker used to be, all right. And so you can find them and you need to go to those guys and each one of you needs to find one person who voted for Barack Obama and convince them to vote for Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. [applause]

And to do that, you can go back because this is going to be the Democrats' convention. You can go back and say, look, do you remember President Obama's speech and his promises from when he was running four years ago. And they'll nod their head. You say, let me remind you of something. He said that he was going to measure success by whether he was going to get incomes to go up. But they've gone down $4,000 a family. He was going —

AUDIENCE: Boo!

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, he was going to measure success by whether entrepreneurs would be more willing to start businesses. We're at a 30-year low in startups of new businesses. And that's where jobs are created. He said you'd measure success by whether people are able to find good jobs. We have 23 million Americans out of work or dropped out of the workforce or can't find full-time work. Look, if there's a coach whose record is 0 and 23 million, you get rid of him and get someone new. [applause]

I don't like the way this game is going under this president. This is time for us to get a new leader who understands what it takes to get America working again. I do. I want to use that experience to help make sure that I make promises you look at and say hold him accountable, make sure he does what he says he'll do. And let me tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to do five things, five things that are going to get this economy roaring back to life.

I'm not just kidding about this. This is going to make a dramatic difference. Number one, we're going to take advantage of our energy resources — our oil, our coal, our gas, nuclear, renewables. We'll have North America energy independence within eight years. That makes a big difference. [applause] Number two — number two, I'm going to fix our schools and make sure the training programs for adults work to give us the skills we need. We're going to make sure our kids and their teachers come first and the teachers union comes behind. [applause]

We're going to have trade that works for America. We're going to open up Latin American markets and other markets around the world. We're going to crack down on cheaters like China where they steal American jobs unfairly. [applause] Number four, we're going to do something you have to do if you're going to have entrepreneurs risk their life savings to start a business.

And that's to convince them that we're not going to end up becoming like Greece. For that to be the case, we're going to have to show them that we can live within our means. We'll stop spending more than we take in. So we're going to cut federal spending and finally get us on track to a balanced budget. [applause] Now, there's only one place — there's only one place this president's wiling to cut and not just a little — he wants to cut a trillion dollars out of our military budget —

AUDIENCE: Boo!

MR. ROMNEY: Look, that's bad for jobs and it's bad for our national security. The world is not a safer place right now, not with Iran trying to cut nuclear — dangers throughout the world. If I'm president and Paul Ryan's vice president, we will not cut our military budget. [applause] Number five — number five, we're going to champion small business. You see, small business is where jobs are created in this country. We're going to make it easier for entrepreneurs and innovators and small businesses of all kinds.

The president wants to raise taxes on small business from 35 percent to 40 percent. That would kill jobs. We want to bring them down. We also want to get regulation and regulators to encourage small business not to crush it. And we've got to take that big cloud off of small business that's keeping them from hiring people right now. We've got to repeal and replace "Obamacare". [applause]

We do those five things — we do those five things and you're going to see this economy come roaring back. We're going to create 12 million jobs over these next four years. You're going to see more jobs and more take-home pay not just because you want it but because you deserve it. These have been tough years. [applause] This has been a hard time for American families. You know that. Middle income families — I saw a report just this morning that with middle income families that not only have jobs been lost but it was middle income jobs that were lost. And the jobs that are coming back are — the majority are low wage jobs. So even though we're getting a few jobs back, which is welcome and all jobs are welcome, the fact that they are low wage jobs makes this an even tougher time for middle income families.

With a middle income family income on average — or median income down $4,000 a family, I mean, you think about that at the same time health insurance premiums are up and food prices are up and gasoline prices are up and electric utility bills are up. These are tough times for American families. The president's answer to a tough like this — time like this has been — yeah, he said play golf. That's true. But his political answer is to say, look, let's divide America. Let's have Americans attack one another. Let's be divisive and dismissive and derisive and that's not the right course.

That's not who we are. The story of America has been a history of the many becoming one to accomplish extraordinary things, the people coming together in America built the strongest economy in the history of the Earth. The people — yeah, we built it, we built it, yeah. And the people in America coming together put a man on the mood 43 years ago. I was just this morning in Cincinnati at the home of Neil Armstrong, an American hero with passion and courage and patriotism.

That's what America is. America coming united together we were able to stop an unspeakable, unthinkable darkness from spreading across the Earth during the Second World War. I appreciate our Second World War veterans more than you can imagine. [applause] And I can promise you this. Paul Ryan and I are going to unite America. We're going to call on the greatness of the American spirit to come together. We're going to encourage individuals to know that they can build it here in America, that there's a bright and prosperous future here. You deserve that.

You deserve that after these four years of trouble that you've had. We're tired of being tired in America. We're tired of being told that someone else is responsible for our difficulties. Look, it's time for us to take responsibility for the course of America to get us back on track. You can change the course of this country. We're going to take America back. The future demands it. The future is out there for us to take it. Our kids deserve it. You deserve it. The nation deserves it. Peace on the planet depends on it. Thank you so much! We're going to take back America. Thank you! Thank you! [applause]

Mitt Romney, Remarks with Paul Ryan and Ann Romney at a Campaign Event in Jacksonville, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315902

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