Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Fishersville, Virginia
RYAN: Hey, everybody! Thank you, Fishersville! Man, wow! Look at you! [applause] Look at this! Awesome! Man, thank you, Fishersville. Thank you, Virginia. Thank you for making Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America. [applause]
Wow. You know, Chris Cox and I have been friends for a long time. I've been subscribing to American Rifleman and American Hunter for — I don't know — since I was about 12, I think. I have my phone here. It's got a blaze orange and camouflage cover because it reminds me that after we elect Mitt Romney president, I get to take my daughter deer hunting. [applause]
I want to thank you, Virginia. I want to thank our lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling. I want to thank my friend Bob Goodlatte and George Allen. He sent his better half, Sue Allen. Thank you for coming here. Thank you for making Virginia a better place. [applause] Friends — I love you too, ma'am. Every now and then, we see a glimpse into the future. Last night, we saw a clear picture. We saw a clear choice. [applause] Last night, America got to see the man I know, a leader, a decisive man, an optimistic man, a man with a plan to get people back to work and to protect our freedoms. [applause]
You know, every now and then, President Obama in a moment of candor kind of reveals his thoughts. Remember four years ago when he was talking to a bunch of people in San Francisco? He said people in the Midwest like us, they like to cling to their guns and their religion. Well, hey, this Catholic deer hunter is guilty as charged and proud of it. [applause]
You know another issue that came up. Taxes — last night, President Obama made it very clear he's going to raise taxes. Today Vice President Joe Biden made it even more clear. In Iowa, he said — he asked himself a question and he asked if he and President Obama want a trillion dollar tax hike. And his response to himself was, yes, we do. That's a direct quote, friends. Well, Virginia, no, we don't. [applause]
Mitt's going to talk about this in a minute. But what we don't need is a trillion-dollar tax increase. Actually, it's a bit more than that. He was half right. What we don't need is a tax increase on our successful job creators that will cost us 700,000 jobs. Just two years ago the president said you don't want to raise taxes in a bad economy. The economy was better then than it is now. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a big choice.
It's not just about taxes. It's about freedom. It's about our principles. It's about our country. It's about the idea of our country. America is so much more than just a country with a flag. It is an idea. These ideas make us who we are. They make us special. I'm going to say something that in Washington is considered kind of out of date or wrong. And it's this: America is an exceptional nation and we are not afraid to say so. [applause]
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
REP. RYAN: We have a chance to get ourselves on the right track. We have a chance to vote for somebody who's going to protect our freedoms, who's going to vote, who's going to act, who's going to lead to protect our religious freedom, who's going to act to protect our Second Amendment rights. Ladies and gentlemen, right here in Virginia, we have a big choice to make. America has a big choice to make.
And America's going to make the right choice because they saw so clearly last night who the right man for the job is. That man is standing back here. He's going to be the next president of the United States. His name is Mitt Romney. Ladies and gentlemen, join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Mitt Romney! [applause]
MITT ROMNEY: Now, that is one heck of a Virginia welcome. Thank you, Virginia! [applause] Thank you, Paul. We're going to be a great team. We're taking back this country together. You know that. [applause] Thank you to Trace as well. Trace Adkins and his music, doesn't that just brighten your day? Thank you so much, Trace, for being here, getting things started. Thank you also for the endorsement of the NRA. We respect the Second Amendment in this country. We appreciate the endorsement. You guys are going to help us win this election, right? [applause]
Now, last night was an important night for the country because people got the — [applause] — they got the chance to cut through all the attacks and counterattacks and all of the theatrics associated with a campaign. And instead, they were able to listen to substance. And I appreciate the fact that Jim Lehrer asked questions of substance and we each responded to them. I got the chance to ask the president questions that people across the country have wanted to ask him such as why is it that he pushed "Obamacare" at a time when we had 23 million people out of work. [applause]
AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's right!
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Exactly!
MR. ROMNEY: I asked, you know, why is it that the middle class is still buried in this country, why is it we have 23 million people out of work, why is it half of our kids are coming out of college can't find good jobs, why is it that 1 out of 6 people have fallen into poverty, why is it that when he took office 32 million people were on food stamps and today 47 million people are on food stamps.
I asked him those questions and you heard his answers. And I think as a result of those answers, the American people recognized that he and I stand for something very different. I'm going to help the American people get good jobs and a bright future. [applause] Now, even more important than just what was happening in the past was what he plans on doing for the future. And he got the chance to describe his vision for the future and what it was was more of the same. He described a series of ideas which we've heard before.
He talks about a stimulus. He talks about hiring more government workers. He talks about the government making investments. And of course, he talks about raising taxes. The vice president blurted out the truth today. They plan on raising taxes on the American people and that will kill jobs. We will not let that happen. We want to create jobs, not kill jobs in this country. [applause]
We also heard this plan of raising taxes not only includes "Obamacare" and the taxes associated with it, and of course cutting Medicare by $716 billion. But in fact, there's been a study just released this week where the people who put together the study looked at his spending plans and all the debt that they created and all the interest that gets charged and they said, you know what, he's going to raise taxes on the middle class as well by some $4,000 a family.
MR. ROMNEY: The American people do not want higher taxes.
They want less spending and more growth and we will bring them less spending and more growth and get America on track to a balanced budget. [applause] I don't want to raise taxes on anybody. I don't want to raise taxes on anybody. And this president, by the way, he seems to think that keeping our taxes the same as they are now is a huge tax cut. Only in Washington would you think keeping your taxes as they are is a huge tax cut. I'm going to keep our taxes where they are and then find a way to bring them down for people in the middle class by saying this: you will pay no tax on your interest, dividends and capital gains if you're in the middle class. We're going to give the middle class a tax break. [applause]
And you know — you know when it comes to creating jobs that Paul Ryan and I actually have a plan. And it's not — it's not a repeat of the last four years because we can't afford four more years like the last four years. It's an entirely different directions and it has five major parts. And you heard me mention them last night. But I want to do it again.
Number one, we're going to take advantage of our energy — our coal, our gas, our natural gas, our oil, our renewables, our nuclear. And there are some differences here. The president has cut in half the number of permits and licenses on federal lands and in federal waters. I'll double them. And the president has made it almost impossible — virtually impossible to build a coal fire facility in this country. I want to keep using our coal. We've got a lot of it. I want to use it. [applause]
And of course, the president blocked the Keystone Pipeline. I'll build it. We'll get that oil in here from Canada. [applause] I'm going to open up more trade. We can trade very effectively with great benefit for our people if we trade on a fair basis with people around the world. But when people steal our jobs through unfair trading practices as China has, I will hold them accountable and call them on the carpet. We cannot let our jobs be stolen unfairly. [applause]
And I want to make sure our people have the skills they need to succeed. And that's why I want training programs that actually prepare people for the jobs of today. Right now, we have 47 different federal training programs reporting to eight different agencies. Think of the overhead, the bureaucracy and the waste. I want to talk all of that money, bundle it up, give Virginia its fair share and say you create the training programs that work for your own people. Get the federal government out of it. [applause]
And you know — you know, you're not going to get entrepreneurs to start a new business or big corporations to expand and build a new facility and hire more people if they think we're on the road to Greece. And if this president is reelected, that's the very road he'll keep us on. I will finally cut federal spending, cap federal spending and get us on track to a balanced budget. [applause]
And the fifth — the fifth step to get this economy going and create jobs is to do this: champion small business, help small businesses, help them grow, keep their taxes down, make sure regulations work for small business. And by the way, the president has an idea which is a very bad idea when it comes to small business.
This is the idea — this is his idea of taking away the right of the secret ballot for our workers when they decide whether or not they want a union. I think our workers should have the right to a secret ballot. He wants to take it away. I will protect the right of our workers and keep unions from being forced on businesses where neither the company nor the employees want them. [applause]
Now, President Obama says that he's created 5 million new jobs. What he hasn't told you — what he hasn't told you is that when a recession ends the economy always begins to come back, begins to create jobs except it hasn't created the jobs like it should have. What's happened is this has been the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. As a matter of fact, he said right now we would be at 5.4 percent unemployment. Instead, we're at 8.1 percent. You might think, well those numbers don't sound too different. Let me tell you how different they are — 9 million jobs different. That's the difference.
When Paul and I get to the White House, we'll get America back to work with our plan for 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay. [applause] And by the way, let me make this point clear as well: 8.1 percent unemployment understates what's really going on and the real pain in our economy on two fronts. One is there are a lot of people working that are having a hard time making ends meet as their incomes have gone down by $4,300 a year and as prices for gasoline have doubled and electricity is up and food is up and health insurance costs are up.
Middle income families, even those that have jobs are having an awful hard year. But there's another way in which this 8.1 percent underestimates the pain in this country. And that's because the reason — the principle reason that the unemployment rate has been creeping down, the principle reason is because people have dropped out of the workforce. They've stopped looking and they don't count them when they decide how many people are unemployed.
As a matter of fact, if the same share of the workforce were actually engaged in looking for a job right now as when the president took office, the unemployment rate wouldn't be shown at 8.1 percent. It would be shown at 11.2 percent. That's the comparable number. The president is trying to convince people he's doing real well. He is not. This recovery is not what we need. When Paul Ryan and I get to Washington, we will begin a real recovery that'll put America back to work again. [applause]
What you didn't hear last night from the president is why it is the next four years are going to possibly be better than the last four years. He doesn't have a way to explain that because he has the same policies for the next four years he had over the last four years. He said go forward. I call it forewarned, all right. [laughter] We do not want four more years like that. And I'm absolutely convinced, by the way, that actually on the day after Paul Ryan and I get elected — and I mean with your help we're getting elected — [applause] — that you're going to see enterprises small and large decide to open their doors and expand.
And people are going to say we're going to see the kind of recovery America really needs and deserves. I know that because I have confidence in the heart of the American people. I know we're an entrepreneurial, innovative and patriotic people. We love this country. We sacrifice for America. There is no other nation on Earth quite like it. Paul said a moment ago that we're an exceptional nation. I believe that. I believe that when the Founders wrote that document known as the Declaration of Independence that they changed the world with the insight that God gave us our rights, not the government, but God gave us our rights. [applause]
And life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, these are rights which we have. And they have led this nation to share this vision with people around the world. I love America. My confidence in the future comes from my passion for this country and for the people of this country. Do you realize how unusual we are as a people and how — where it came from, whether it's these very Founders and their vision. I don't know how it began. But it's here. It's in our hearts. I was some years ago when I was serving as governor of my state, the then president of Israel, Shimon Peres, came to — now president also — came to Boston.
And I happened to be having a lunch with him in someone's apartment. And one of the people standing around him at lunchtime said: Mr. Peres, or President Peres, what do you think about America's involvement in Iraq. Now, this was at the time the Iraq war was still underway. And he said: You know, before I answer that, I need to put this in context. He said: America is the greatest nation in the history of the Earth.
And he said: I say that because of this. He said: In the history of the Earth, whenever there's been war, whenever there's been conflict, the nation that wins takes land away from the nation that loses because land has always been the source of value on the planet. He said: One nation in history, one nation has laid down the lives of hundreds and thousands of its sons and daughters and taken no land. America. America is unique in the history of the Earth. [applause]
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
MR. ROMNEY: And you know, former secretary of State, Colin Powell, said this. He said: In fact, the only land America has taken from other lands is enough land to bury our dead. This is a great nation and an exceptional nation. We have people in this nation who prize freedom, who love the country which was based upon rights given by God. We face extraordinary challenges but we're an extraordinary people.
What we need is to have leadership — leadership in Washington who can work with Republicans and Democrats, who'll get America back on track, who will do those things that restore the principles that made America the shining city on a hill Ronald Reagan spoke of so eloquently. I love this country. I love the people of this country. I love the prospect we have of getting America strong again.
I will keep this nation strong with your help. We're taking back the White House. We're going all the way to Washington. Paul Ryan and I are going to get America on track. This nation's coming back. We're going to get our economy going. We're going to keep our military strong. We're going to keep our values first and foremost, the values that shaped the Earth. Thank you so very much! Great to be with you! Thank you! [applause]
Mitt Romney, Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Fishersville, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315866