Mitt Romney photo

Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Henderson, Nevada

October 23, 2012

[In progress] — tonight's debate. Here's his running mate, Paul Ryan.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R-WI): Hey, everybody. Wow. [cheers and applause] Hello, Henderson. [cheers and applause] Hello, Nevada. [cheers and applause] It is great to see you guys. Wow. Thank you so much. Hey, Nevada, you ready to help us win this thing? [cheers and applause] That's right. Hey, don't forget, early voting already started. [cheers] You can get out there; you can cast your vote. We need your help.

We saw, last night and two other nights, a man who is ready to become a great president, and his name is Mitt Romney. [cheers and applause] And Nevada, you're going to help him — make him the next president of the United States. [cheers and applause]

I want to thank your fantastic lieutenant governor. I want to thank Brian Krolicki for what he's done for us, for what he's done for your state, for his leadership. [cheers and applause] I want to thank my buddy Dean Heller. [cheers and applause] [chuckles] He is a true Nevadan. You need to send him back. [cheers] And you got this new guy, a true citizen legislator, a doctor, a veteran: Joe Heck is the kind of man who has earned your support. Send him back. He is exactly the kind of people we need to save this country. [cheers and applause] You've got great leaders right here.

You know what we saw last night? We saw Governor Ritt (sic) Romney offer this country bold ideas and leadership. [cheers] In so many ways — and we know this right here, Nevada; look at the unemployment rate — we cannot afford four more years like the last four years. [cheers] You know what? Please, go ahead. Have a seat.

President Obama has not only failed to lay out his second-term agenda; President Obama has decided that his path to re-election is to distort, is to try and distract, to see if he can win this election by default. We're not going to fall for that, are we?


REP. RYAN: You know, it was four years ago when then-Candidate Barack Obama was running for president.

He said this: If you don't have fresh ideas, then use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small ideas.

[chuckles] Ladies and gentlemen, that's exactly what he said four years ago. And sadly, that is exactly what President Obama has become. And in two weeks from today, he's going to become former President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's going to be the next president of the United States — [cheers and applause] — because we can do better than this. We don't have to settle for this.

We don't have to settle for 23 million Americans struggling to find work. We don't have to settle for 11.8 percent unemployment in Nevada.


REP. RYAN: We don't have to settle for all these underwater mortgages.


REP. RYAN: We don't have to settle for 15 percent of our fellow countrymen and -women living in poverty.


REP. RYAN: We can do better than this.


REP. RYAN: It's going to take leadership. It's going to take a man with a plan. It's going to take a proven job creator — a person who's proven to reach across the aisle to find common ground to get results. It's going to take the kind of leader that we have before us. That leader is Mitt Romney. [cheers and applause]

You know what we saw last night? Yet again, another display of a man ready to be president, another display of someone with the demeanor, with the temperament, with the skills to be a leader. What we saw last night was Mitt Romney being concerned about America's position in the world and President Obama more concerned about his position in this race.

[cheers and applause]

Look, the president has run out of ideas. That's why he's running a small campaign about small things and hoping that he can distract people from the reality in front of us. The reality is this, we can do better than this. We can get people back to work. We can get people back out of poverty, back into the middle class. We can create jobs. We have so much energy in this state, in this country. Let's use that energy in this state, in this country and get people back to work. [cheers and applause]

We have a leader with a plan to create jobs. We have a leader who's a proven job creator. At a time when we have a jobs crisis in America, wouldn't it be nice to have a job creator in the White House? [cheers and applause]

Ladies and gentlemen, we don't have to wait for four more years of the same. We only have to wait for two more weeks to get America back on track. [cheers and applause] And that means in Nevada, Henderson, you can help us. Don't forget early voting. We're going to elect a leader to get us out of a ditch we are in, to get this country back on the right track. That man is right here. His name is Mitt Romney, and he's going to be the next president of the United States! [cheers and applause]

MITT ROMNEY: Wow. Wow. That's a Nevada welcome. Thank you, Nevada. [cheers and applause] Thank you, Henderson. Thank you, Nevada. Great to be with you. I need you to do something. I love the fact that you're cheering. Your cheering warms my heart. But I want you to make sure to begin voting. Early voting has already started. Vote. Get out there. We want you to start voting right now.

Now, my — my guess is you had the chance to watch that debate last night, maybe a couple of debates. [cheers and applause] Yeah. And these debates have supercharged our campaign. There's no question about it. We're seeing more and more enthusiasm, more and more support. We're going to make sure that these campaigns and the message of these — the debates, rather — these messages keep going across the country.

But I — you know, I had to look at the president's campaign as well through the eyes of those debates. And well, you know, he's — he's been reduced to trying to defend the characters on Sesame Street and the — [laughter] — word games of various kinds and — and then misfired attacks after one and another. You know, the — the truth is that attacks on me are not an agenda. The president — [cheers] — we've gone through four debates now. We've gone through four debates with the vice — vice presidential debate and my debates. And — and we haven't heard an agenda from the president. And that's why his campaign is taking on water and our campaign is full speed ahead. [cheers and applause]

Now, Paul mentioned two weeks from today that we have the final votes taken, but you guys need to get your votes out there early.

We need you to — to get in there early. But I want you to know that we can handle two more weeks of the attacks that are coming from Barack Obama, but we cannot handle four more years of what he's given us. [cheers and applause]

I mean, can you afford four more years with 23 million Americans looking for a good job?


MR. ROMNEY: Can you afford four more years with housing prices going down and — [inaudible] — bottom?


MR. ROMNEY: Can you afford four more years of doubling of the gasoline prices you're paying?


MR. ROMNEY: How — how about this instead? Would you like to have four years where we create 12 million new jobs? [cheers and applause] How — how about four years — how about four years where we're able to see rising take-home pay again? [cheers and applause] And how about four years where at the end of which we get Nevada unemployment down to 6 percent or lower? [cheers and applause]

Look, if we're — if we're going to see a real recovery and see that kind of direction, then we're going to have to have real change. And unfortunately, we have a president today who represents the status quo. His campaign slogan is "Forward." That doesn't suggest changing, does it?


MR. ROMNEY: All right, forward — well, I think a better campaign slogan for him might be "forewarned" — (laughter, cheers, applause) — because we've seen what's happened over the last four years. Look, I'm — I'm willing to do the work with Paul Ryan that it takes to change Washington. The president said you can't change Washington from the inside. He says he can only do it from the outside. We're going to give him that chance in just a couple of weeks. [cheers and applause]

You see, if we — if we go forward with the same direction of the last four years, he's going to keep on amassing a trillion-dollar deficit or so every year. We'll end up with $20 trillion in debt. America's future will look a lot like those troubled nations in Europe.

If, on the other hand, we take a new and bold course that Paul Ryan and I represent, we'll finally cut federal spending; we'll cap federal spending and get us on track to a balanced budget. [cheers and applause]

Going — going forward with his same old policies, that'll mean that he's going to cut $716 billion from Medicare for our current seniors. [boos] That's the wrong way. [boos] Paul Ryan and I will restore those dollars to our seniors and to Medicare and make sure those programs are there for our kids and their kids. [cheers] We'll make sure we honor the promises made to our seniors. [cheers and applause]

Four more years — four more years like the last four years mean that we're going to cut a trillion dollars out of our military. [boos] Look, I — I have the greatest respect for the men and women who serve in our — in our armed forces and appreciate their great sacrifice. [cheers and applause] And I will not continue to reduce the number of ships we have and the number of planes we have and the number of soldiers we have. I'll make sure that we protect our military and keep it second to none in the world. [cheers and applause]

Four more years — four more years like the last four years, with all this spending and all the borrowing that you've seen, would mean that you're going to have an America where you're going to have interest costs going up and up and up, and the president's going to have to raise taxes $4,000 per middle-income family.

(Scattered boos.) He's also planning on raising taxes on a million small businesses. We have a very different path. The path we represent will not raise taxes. We'll cut taxes on the middle class. We'll cut taxes for small business. We're going to make it easier for businesses to grow. [cheers and applause]

Four more years like the last four years means that we would see "Obamacare," and that means that your health insurance premiums would go up by $2,500 a person. [boos] It puts the government in the doctor's office with you. Look, when we get elected, we're going to repeal "Obamacare" and get health care on track to slow down its extraordinary cost. [cheers and applause]

Four more years like the last four years would continue to have a president playing hide-and-seek trying to find a — a — a plan to get the economy going and to create jobs. This is a president whose — whose — whose approach to creating jobs is another stimulus. How'd the first one work out. (Jeers.)

And then — and then he says he wants to hire some more teachers. That's — we love teachers. We're — we're happy to see more teachers. But that's not going to get the private sector growing and — and people having good jobs again. His idea of growing the economy is raising taxes. Does anyone think raising taxes creates more jobs?


MR. ROMNEY: Look, his — his — his vision for — for the future is a repeat of the past. We don't want to go into the past. Our plan has five key steps that'll get this economy going, because we're serious about these things.

We're going to finally get North American energy independence using our coal, our oil, our gas, our nuclear and our renewables.

[cheers and applause]

We're going to make trade work for America by making sure we open up new markets, particularly in Latin America. [cheers and applause] Latin America — we have advantages there with language and time zone. And we're going to crack down on cheaters when they steal our jobs through unfair trade practices, like China. We'll crack down; he has not. [cheers and applause]

We're going to make training programs work for the people who need training and fix our schools. By the way, we can fix our schools because we don't get the largest share of our campaign contributions from the teachers' unions. He does. [cheers] As a matter of fact, we get none of our campaign contributions from the teachers' unions. We're going to do something to fix our schools that needs to be done across the country, and that is we're putting our kids first and the parents first and the teachers first and the teachers' unions going behind. [cheers and applause]

And number five — number five is this: We're going to champion small business. [cheers and applause] We want small business to grow and thrive and to add more jobs. We want to help small-business people with lower taxes and — and regulators that see themselves as being on the same team, as opposed to being in opposition to small business. We're going to help small business grow and thrive in this country. [cheers] I understand small business. I didn't read about small business; I didn't study small business; I lived small business, and I'm going to help small business grow. [cheers and applause]

Look, his is a — his is a status-quo candidacy. His is a — a message of going forward with the same policies of the last four years. And that's why his campaign is — is slipping, and that's why ours is gaining so much steam. And I'm — [cheers and applause] — I'm convinced, as Paul said, we can do better. I know we can.

This is not just a matter of Paul and me; this is a movement across the country, people recognizing that we can do a better job as a nation than we've done over these last four years. I've seen it throughout my life, that in the heart of the American people is a greatness, a quality of the human spirit that tells me that if we tap into it, if we allow freedom to bloom as it can, that you're going to see this country come back and an economy that roars to success.

I say that — [cheers and applause] — I say that because I've seen the American people and I've seen the entrepreneurship of our fellow men and women. I believe we're all sons and daughters of the same God and we have within us a great desire — [cheers and applause] — to lift ourselves and our children. We want to help one another. We Americans — we Americans are willing to give of ourselves to something bigger than ourselves. We're a — we're a people who love great things. We're patriotic. We care for our communities. We care for our families. This is a — this is a time to call on America's greatness.

I had an experience that — that reminded me of that and touched my — my heart. I was — I was a leader in the Boy Scouts some years ago and — [cheers and applause] — (few ?) Scouters here — and it was in a Boy Scout Court of Honor, and we had this formica table. And I was seated at the end of it on the podium.

And the person who was speaking was the scout master from Monument, Colorado. (Cheer.) I hear a Coloradan back there somewhere. There we go. And he said that their Boy Scout troop wanted to have a very special flag.

And — and so they bought one, and it was a — a flag which had the gold tassels around the outside. And — and next to me, at the end of this Formica table, was a flagpole with a — a flag on it, very much like the one he was describing.

And he said, look, we bought this flag. We wanted it to be special, and so we had it flown above the Capitol building. And — and then when it came home, back to Monument, Colorado, we — we contacted NASA and said, gosh, could we have our flag go up on the space shuttle? And of course, space is at a premium in space, you know, so — [laughter] — but NASA said, OK, we'll take the boys' flag with us. And they put it on the space shuttle. And he said, you can imagine how proud our boys were, looking from their homerooms at school on the TV set as they launched the — the — the shuttle takeoff and the rockets go up in the air. And — and they had that pride until they saw it explode on the TV screen in front of them.

And he said he called NASA about two weeks after the disaster, the Challenger disaster, and said, have you found any remnant of our flag? And they said no. And then he said he called almost every week for months: Have you found our flag? Every time he called, they said no. And then I think it was in September; he was reading an article in the newspaper that listed some of the debris from the Challenger disaster, and it mentioned a flag. So he called NASA again, and they said, as a matter of fact, we have a presentation to make to you. And so NASA came and Boy Scouts came, and they presented the Boy Scouts with this plastic container. And he said, we opened it up, and there was our flag in perfect condition. And —

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Aww. [cheers and applause]

MR. ROMNEY: And then he said, that's the flag on the flagpole next to Mr. Romney. And I — I — I looked over and reached up and grabbed ahold of the flag and pulled it out. And for me it was as if electricity was running through my arm as I was thinking of the sacrifice of our sons and daughters, men and women in the space program that have sacrificed and put themselves in danger for learning, for discovery, for us.

And I think about how much that typifies the American character. I think of the — the single mom who scrimps and saves on herself so that she can have a good meal for her child at the end of the week. I think of — I think of the dad that's got a couple of jobs so he can afford making sure his kids have the same kind of clothes other kids at school have.

I think of the — of the couple that decides not to share Christmas with each other this year, not to exchange gifts, so they can instead have a great Christmas for their children. I think of the young person coming out of college or out of high school who puts aside their — their career so they can enlist in the military.

I love those who serve in America's armed forces. [cheers and applause] Would all those who have have served in our armed forces or are serving now please stand or raise your hand and be recognized by the audience. [cheers and applause]

I love those — I love those words in one of our national hymns: O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country (love/loved ?), and mercy more than life. I love these members of our armed services and the fact that they, like so many others, evidence this quality of living for something bigger than themselves.

This is a — [cheers and applause] — this is an important time for America.

This is a time to choose what kind of an America we're going to be. Are we going to draw on the greatness of our people and their willingness to sacrifice for great things, or are we instead going to turn to government and expect it to do everything for us? Are we going to have a nation that's free, that recognizes that our economy is driven by freedom and economic opportunity, or are we instead going to have an economy that stumbles along and bumps along with high unemployment, low-wage growth, home values down, high gasoline prices? (Murmurs of disapproval.) This is the choice we're going to have.

And what I need you to do is to get out there and vote, and vote early. In some states, it's vote early and vote often, but not here in Nevada, right, Governor? [laughter] Governor Krolicki is saying, no, no, no, not here. I need you to get out and vote because on Election Day, I need you to get your friends to vote.

Over the next two weeks Paul Ryan and I are going to work nonstop crisscrossing the country to get people to get energized and to get out and vote. And while we're doing that, I need you to do something. I need you to find a neighbor who voted for Barack Obama last time and remind them of the promises made and ask how many of those promises were kept. And after you take them through that, they're going to realize it's time to vote for real change that'll get this economy going.

We're going to get America back. [cheers and applause] We're going to take this country, get good jobs, rising take-home pay, keep us strong overseas, support our military. America is coming back. This is the comeback team. I love America. I believe in you. I believe our brightest days are ahead. Thank you so very much. Sure love you. Thank you for being here. (Sustained cheers, applause.)

Mitt Romney, Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Henderson, Nevada Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives