Mitt Romney photo

Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Daytona Beach, Florida

October 19, 2012

RYAN: Thank you. Thank you, Daytona! Thank you, Florida! [applause] Hey, Florida! Hey, Florida! You ready to make this man the next president of the United States? [applause]

Thank you so much for coming out tonight. I want to thank John Rich. Man, what a great performer. Thank you so much, John Rich. That was fantastic. I want to thank Connie Mack and Pam Bondi. Thank you for being here today. Jeff Atwater and John Thrasher, you've been such a great help. We appreciate your service to Florida, your service to your country. Thank you very much. [applause]

Friends, we have a very clear choice to make. This is no ordinary election. We're not just picking a president for the next four years. We are picking the destiny of our nation, the meaning of our nation. We are deciding the kind of people we're going to be and the kind of country we are going to have for at least a generation. [applause]

We simply cannot afford four more years like the last four years. [applause] We need real reforms for a real recovery. We need to get the country back on the right track. And the way we do that is in 18 days we elect this man the next president of the United States. [applause] Now, we hear a lot from President Obama and I'm sure you'll to see him cross-crossing Florida.

Let me give you a quote that he said just four years ago. If you don't have any fresh ideas, use stale tactics to scare people. If you don't have a record to run on, paint your opponent as someone people should run from. Make a big election about small things. That's what Barack Obama said when he was running for president in 2008. That's exactly what Barack Obama has become now that he is president in 2012 and we're going to change it because this man's going to be the next president and we're going to fix the mess in Washington.

We're going to get this country back on the right track. We're going to deal with what needs to be dealt with. We're going to fix these problems. [applause] We have got to fix the mess in Washington. [applause] Look, I just came in on town and I saw a lot of our Milwaukee Maine Harleys mollies running all around town here. [applause]

We know how to build things in America. We know how to create jobs in America. We know what freedom looks like in America. We know what liberty looks like in America. We believe that the government works for us and not the other way around in America because those are the principles that built America. People are hurting. Twenty-three million people are struggling for work. Fifteen percent of our fellow Americans are living in poverty. The president is out of ideas.

All of his borrowing, all of his spending, all of his regulating, all of his Washington-knows-best is not working. And you know what, if we attack these problems, if we stop blaming other people and start solving problems we can get people back to work in this country. We can grow this economy. We can bring opportunity. [applause]

What we need is leadership. We don't want "Obamacare." We want freedom. [applause] We don't want tax increases. We want government to live within its means. We don't want government borrowing and spending. We want it to actually cut spending so we don't give our children and our grandchildren a diminished future. [applause]

But to do this, we need leadership. Look at this man. Of all things that describe Mitt Romney, the one word that rushes to your mind is he is a leader. [applause] Look at this man's — [applause] This is a man who succeeded where others failed. This is a man who turned around the Olympics. This is a man who started successful business, who turned around struggling businesses, and by the way, being successful in business, that's a good thing. [applause]

There's nothing wrong with that. We want more people to become successful. In a time when America has a jobs crisis, wouldn't it be great to have a job creator in our White House? [applause] This is a man who when he was governor he didn't demonize and demagogue the other party. He reached across the aisle. He didn't compromise principle. He found common ground and he got things done. He cut taxes 19 times. He balanced the budget each and every year without raising taxes. That is leadership. That is what we need in the White House. [applause]

President Obama is trying to make a big election about small things. He's hoping that you won't look at reality. He's hoping that you won't see what's right in front of you. He's hoping that he can distort our record. He's hoping he can distract you to win an election by default. We're not going to fall for that, are we?

AUDIENCE: No!

REP. RYAN: America is so special. It's so unique. I can hear the hogs and the v-rods right outside right now. [applause] I see the veterans who are here in the audience. It's on your hats. Thank you for what you've done for our country. You have secured our freedoms and our rights. [applause]

America is more than a nation with a flag. It is an idea. It's the only country founded on an idea and the idea is really simple. And the idea has to be kept and maintained by every generation. Our rights come from nature and nature's God, not from government. That's the American idea. [applause]

This is one of those times in our history where we will look back as the time we got it right. This is a time where the man and the moment are meeting perfectly. It's not too late to turn things around. It's not too late to get this right. It is not too late to confront our country's problems and get people out of poverty, get people back in the middle class, get our children the bright future they deserve like our parents got for us.

And the way we're going to do this is we're going to elect a president who is going to lead us. That man is standing right next to me. His name is Mitt Romney and he's going to be the next president of the United States of America. [applause]

MITT ROMNEY: Nicely done, nicely done. Wow, thank you. What a welcome! [applause]

AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!

MR. ROMNEY: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, John Rich, for entertaining us here. Thank you, John Thrasher, senator, for all your help. Thank you Pam Bondi, attorney general, for her leadership. Thank you for Connie Mack that's going to be the next U.S. senator from Florida. [applause] Well, have you been watching the Obama campaign lately? It's absolutely remarkable. They have no agenda for the future, no agenda for America, no agenda for a second term. It's a good thing they won't have a second term. [applause]

They have — they've been reduced to petty attacks and silly word games. Just watch it. The Obama campaign has become the incredible shrinking campaign.

This is — this is a big country with big opportunities and great challenges and they keep on talking about smaller and smaller things. We have big ideas, bold ideas, a strong agenda. We're going to get America working again and that's why you're going to help elect the two of us. We're going to go to Washington and get this country on track. [applause]

Now, I was at an event the other day and now then you see a few protestors that come to Paul and my events and they like to chant four more years, four more years. And I ask them —

AUDIENCE: Boo!

MR. ROMNEY: I mean, do you want — do you want four more years with 23 million Americas struggling to find a good job?

AUDIENCE: No!

MR. ROMNEY: Do you want four more years with take-home pay going down every year?

AUDIENCE: No!

MR. ROMNEY: Do you want four more years of being upside-down on your mortgage?

AUDIENCE: No!

MR. ROMNEY: Do you want four more years where kids coming out of college, half of them can't find a job?

AUDIENCE: No!

MR. ROMNEY: How about this. Are you ready for four very different years?

AUDIENCE: Yeah!

MR. ROMNEY: Yeah, four years where we create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay. [applause] Look, we can — we can endure 18 more days of the agenda of President Obama but we cannot endure four more years and that's why we're going to replace him in 18 days. [applause]

Now, the four years that you're going to see under the two of us can be very --are going to be very, very different. Under President Obama's four more years, you're going to have at the end of it almost $20 trillion of debt, America on a road to becoming more like Greece, people wondering whether we're going to be able to meet our obligations. If I become president, you're going to see four years where we get America on track to cut spending, to cap federal spending and finally get on track to a balanced budget. [applause]

Look, if President Obama's reelected, these next four years you're going to see Medicare cut by $716 billion. This is something which I think seniors across Florida and across the country don't understand. The president's cutting Medicare $716 billion for current Medicare recipients to pay for "Obamacare." We're going to restore those dollars into Medicare and honor the promise made to our seniors. [applause] If the president were reelected, you're going to see higher taxes, higher taxes on small business and you're also going to see middle income people facing $4,000 a year in higher taxes. If I'm elected, we're going to reduce taxes on middle income Americans. [applause]

If the president's reelected, you're going to see "Obamacare" installed and that means that your health insurance premiums are going to go up another $2,500 a family.

AUDIENCE: Boo!

MR. ROMNEY: If I get elected — no, when I get elected, we're — [applause]. We're going to repeal "Obamacare" and get real health care reform that keeps down the growing cost of health care. [applause] If the president's reelected, you're going to see about a trillion dollars in cuts to our military with impact on our veterans.

AUDIENCE: Boo!

MR. ROMNEY: Let me tell you, when I'm president I will not cut our military budget. We must defend America's strength. [applause] And the president — the president has no jobs agenda. We keep on asking him what are you going to do to create jobs. He has nothing new. He says, well, we're going to go forward — forewarned is a better term, I think. We've seen where his stimuluses (sic) and trying to hire more government workers. Nothing wrong with government workers but that's not going to get the economy going.

Raising taxes won't create more jobs. Look, he doesn't know what it takes to create jobs. We do — five things. Number one, we're going to take advantage of our energy resources, coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables. We're going to get more trade, trade with Latin America and crack down on China when they steal our jobs unfairly. We're going to get our people the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow. It means also fixing our schools for our kids to make sure they have a great opportunity for the future. I love our teachers. We're going to put our teachers and the kids and the parents first and the teachers union behind. [applause]

We're going to get that balanced budget and number five, we're going to champion small business. Small business is where jobs come from. [applause] And you know what, if you've got a small business, you did build that, all right? [applause] Look, the president wants to fundamentally transform America. He's making us more and more like Europe. I don't want to become like Europe. I want to restore to America the principles that made us the hope of the Earth and we'll do it. [applause]

I'm optimistic. I'm optimistic about the future. I'm optimistic about the future because I've had the chance to meet people across this country and learn something about the great heart of the American people. We're a generous people. We're a patriotic people. We work hard as a people. We love America. I was at a rally and I saw great people that were talking about their lives and their passion for America. It taught me again how much I love the American people. How much I believe in the people of America, how much I believe in this country and our future. America's best days are ahead of us, not in the past. [applause]

Some years ago I was at a Boy Scout court of honor. Any Boy Scouts here? Yeah, good. So a Boy Scout court of honor, I was at the end of the table — a Formica table. They had an American flag there next to where I was and the scoutmaster who was at the podium was talking about a special flag his scout troop wanted to have. He was from Monument, Colorado. They got this flag. It was a big one with gold tassels around the outside.

And they had it flown above the capitol to make it special and then they contacted NASA and they said, we'd like you to fly this flag on the space shuttle. And I guess space is at a premium in space. So you know, the idea of taking souvenirs was not NASA's first idea but they said OK. And he said, you could imagine how great it was for our kids to be in their homerooms watching the TV screen as they saw the shuttle launch go off and then they saw it explode on the TV screen.

And this scoutmaster said he got in touch with NASA and he said, have you found any remnant of our flag. And they said no. And he said he called every week, month after month, have you found our flag or any remnant of it. And the answer was always no. And after several months he finally gave up. And then one day he was looking at the newspaper and it listed some of the debris found from the Challenger disaster and there was a mention of a flag. So he called NASA and he said, did you find our flag. They said, as a matter of fact, we have a presentation to make to you and your boys.

And so NASA came together with the Boy Scout troop and they presented them with this plastic kind of box, this container. And he said, we opened the box and there was our flag in perfect condition. And he said, that's it on the flagpole at the end of the table next to Mr. Romney. And I reached over and grabbed that flag and held it out. And it was as if electricity was running through my arm because I thought about the sacrifice of those astronauts, how many of them have gone in danger's path, seeking knowledge and innovation, pioneering for us, for our future.

I think about the men and women who serve in our military, willing to serve themselves for the benefit of this great country. How many veterans do we have, our veterans and members of the Armed Forces? Thank you. [applause] O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life. Thank you to our veterans and to those who serve. [applause]

We as a people live for something bigger than ourselves. That's who we are, those in the military, those who were pioneers in NASA and continue to be. The mom — the single mom who scrimps and saves so she can put a good meal on the table at the end of the day, the dad that's got two jobs — two jobs so he can make sure his kids have the kind of clothes the other kids have at school, the mom and dad who agree they're not going to exchange gifts at Christmastime so they can give their kids a real Christmas.

This is who we are. We're a people who are bigger than ourselves. We give to others. That's what makes America so unique. We are an exceptional nation of great people. This is a critical time for this nation as we choose what kind of course we're going to have. The president's put us on a course of decline. We're going to restore the greatness of America, drawing on the greatness of the American people.

This is not a nation that's great because of our government. It's great because of the heart and passion of the American people. We're going to tap into this, grow this economy, get America strong again. Our bright future is ahead of us. We're going to win in November — November 6th. You guys are going to help get us elected. We're taking back America. We'll be strong again. Your kids will know the future is bright for them. Thank you so very much! You guys are the best! Thank you! [applause]

Mitt Romney, Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Daytona Beach, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315833

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