Mitt Romney photo

Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Lancaster, Ohio

October 12, 2012

SENATOR ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): Fairfield County, are you ready to win? We have to win, don't we, folks? It's too important to our families, to our community, to our country. We cannot afford another four years of Barack Obama. [applause] Now, we all want to win and we have to win. But let me ask you something today. Are you planning to do everything you possibly can in the next 25 days to ensure a victory here in the key state of Ohio?

AUDIENCE: Yeah!

SEN. PORTMAN: Are you willing to make phone calls for Mitt?

AUDIENCE: Yeah!

SEN. PORTMAN: Are you willing to go door to door for Mitt?

AUDIENCE: Yeah!

SEN. PORTMAN: Are you willing to put up one of these signs in your yard for Mitt?

AUDIENCE: Yeah!

SEN. PORTMAN: I need you to early vote, folks. We need to bank the votes. Go to your board of elections on Monday morning. Walk in. You can vote and vote now. That ensures that you're going to have plenty of time on Election Day to help us get other people to vote. Will you do that? [applause]

I think when you talk to people — your friends and your neighbors, folks you go to work with, folks you go to church with — you'll find that they're paying attention. And one reason is we've had two great debates in the last eight days. You agree with me on that? [applause]

Wow. The American people are seeing what this comeback team is all about. [applause] Last night, we had a terrific performance by Paul Ryan. [applause] Folks, on the stage last night, who was the leader there? It was Paul Ryan. [applause] Joe Biden said a lot of interesting things. One was at a time of increasing danger all around the world, he said we ought to be cutting our military.

AUDIENCE: Boo!

SEN. PORTMAN: Specifically, he said that we don't need any more M-1 tanks. Did you hear that? Guess where those tanks are made, folks? Right here in the state of Ohio. We need M-1 tanks because they're part of the greatest military on the face of the Earth. They will ensure that we have a military second to none so that we can keep the peace. We need M-1 tanks. [applause] Say it ain't so, Joe.

Now, we also saw on the stage last night a guy who understands how to get America back on track. Just as Mitt Romney did last week, he explained why it was so important for us to have a change in direction and he laid out a specific agenda to move America forward. The comeback team is here, folks, and we need them and we need them now. Please help me welcome the next vice president of the United States, Paul Ryan. [applause]

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R-WI): Wow, thank you, buddy! Man, way up there, how you doing? Look at that! Wow. O-H!

AUDIENCE: I-O!

REP. RYAN: God, I love that. That is so fun. It is great to be back here. You know, I just saw a nice Miami sweatshirt. I spent four great years at Miami of Ohio. [applause] It is so great to see that. And I have my Rob Portman-provided lucky Buckeye with me. [applause] He had this Buckeye in his pocket throughout his entire campaign in 2010. He said it brought him great luck and it brought him a victory in Ohio. And you're going to help us because this Buckeye is going to bring us a victory in Ohio, isn't it? [applause]

Lancaster, thank you for having us. you have a huge choice to make. We have a big choice to make. You know, I think we saw a sign of it last night just like we saw it a week ago. You see, they are offering no new ideas. The president is simply saying more of the same. Hope and change has become attack and blame. [applause] When he was running for president four years ago, Barack Obama gave a huge speech and in this big great speech he said if you don't have fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.

If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as somebody people should run from. You make a big election about small things. Ladies and gentlemen, that's what Barack Obama said of his opponent four years ago when he ran for president. And that is exactly what Barack Obama has become now as president. [applause]

You know, we had a little chat about Libya and Benghazi. We mourn the loss of these four brave Americans. But talking about blaming — first, they blame a YouTube video and a nonexistent riot. Then when the country is getting upset about it, they blame Romney and Ryan for getting people upset about it. They keep changing their story. This is not what leadership looks like. We need clarity, not confusion. We need accountability and no more excuses. [applause]

This tragedy would be troubling in and of itself and tragic in and of itself. But unfortunately what we are witnessing when we turn on our T.V.s on a daily basis is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, we are!

REP. RYAN: And when you say it's OK to impose these devastating cuts in our military or that we don't need any more Lima-built M-1 tanks, what we are doing is we are projecting weakness. And when we project weakness abroad, our enemies become more brazen. Our enemies are more tempted to test us. And our allies are less willing to trust us. So while hotspots are growing abroad, the economy is not growing here at home. And that's the problem we have to focus on here.

You see, the economy is growing slower than it grew last year and last year it grew slower than the year before. And all President Obama is offering is more of the same. So we have a very big choice to make and that choice is clear. Do we want more stagnation that fosters dependency or do we want a dynamic growing economy that creates opportunity and creates jobs? [applause] In a nutshell, we need leadership. [applause]

And look at the guy over my shoulder right here. [applause] If you look at this man's life story, one word comes to mind: leader. This is a man who turned around the Olympics, who turned around struggling businesses — and by the way, being successful in business, that's a good thing. There's nothing wrong with that. We want more people to be successful. We want more people to have prosperity, to have jobs, to have higher take-home pay. We want people to grow.

At a time when America has a jobs crisis, wouldn't it be nice to have a job creator in the White House? [applause] And this is a man who has proven to get things done. When he was governor of Massachusetts, he cut taxes 19 times. He balanced the budget without raising taxes.

Unemployment went down. Household income went up. This is a man who knows how to turn things around. And by the way, after getting the runaround for four years, don't you think it's time for America to have a turnaround? [applause]

We will not duck these tough issues facing our country because if we don't tackle America's problems, they will tackle us. We will not spend the next four years blaming other people. We will take responsibility and get the job done. [applause] And we will not try to transform this country into something it was never intended to be. We will reapply our founding principles and make America what it was meant to be — that land of opportunity, that land of freedom and liberty. [applause]

The moment is coming. It's less than a month away. We have a real leader, a perfect person where the man and the moment are meeting perfectly well. That means right here, right here in Ohio, you have the ability and the responsibility and the opportunity to save this country, to get it back on the right track. And you're going to do that by electing this man, Mitt Romney, the next president of the United States. [applause]

MITT ROMNEY: Thank you, Lancaster! Thank you! Thank you! What a welcome. Thank you! Thank you to Congressman Steve Stivers for being here and welcoming you today. And thank you for your senators. It's great to have Rob Portman here and thank you for this great vice president. He's going to be terrific, isn't he? [applause]

Now, it's good to be back. And you may say, I don't remember seeing you here before. But I was here a long time ago. As a matter of fact, my very first assignment at my first job was to come to Lancaster. I'm serious. And to try and do a little work at a little company called Anchor Hawking. Anyone? [applause]

Yeah, and so for about — I think it was about six months we used to fly into Columbus and then drive an hour-and-a-half or so here and I learned something about standing in those big — next to those big glass furnaces. You know, it got real hot in there. And learned about triple gob machines and saw an extraordinary community that came together to build a great enterprise. And it's good to be back. And this is our — this is our comeback team here. And this is our comeback team in Ohio and we're going to bring back America. [applause]

I've had the fun of going back and forth across Ohio and this week I was also in Florida and Iowa. I was in North Carolina, in Virginia. And you know what, there's a growing crescendo of enthusiasm. People recognize this is not an ordinary campaign. This is a critical time for the country. There's more energy and passion. People are getting behind this campaign. We're taking back this country. We're going to get it strong again. [applause]

And part of that I think came — part of that came from last night. Gosh, we got to watch this guy debate. And there was one person on the stage with thoughtfulness who was respectful, who was steady and poised. There's one person on that stage you'd want to be with if there were a crisis and it's this man right here. [applause] And when the — and when the moderator asked how you'd get the economy going, one person on the stage just attacked. But this guy stood up and — well, it was sitting down, I guess. But metaphorically he stood up and he went through all the things he'd do to get this economy going. It's our plan to get this economy going with more jobs for the middle class and more take-home pay and we're going to bring back this economy by putting in place that plan. [applause]

Now, I also had a debate about a week ago and that — [applause] — I enjoyed that experience. We got a chance to talk about some differences between us. I got to ask the president some questions a lot of people have wanted to ask him like why with 23 million Americans out of work when he took office, struggling to find work, why instead of focusing on getting them jobs he focused on "Obamacare." I got to ask him questions like how come with gasoline so expensive, with it almost twice as much as when he took office, why it was that he cut in half the number of permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters.

I got to ask why it was when he called the massive deficit we have un-American and I understand it. Look, the deficit spending has been just outrageous under Republicans and Democrats. But why when that was the case he spent $90 billion sending money to green energy companies, many of whom were owned by friends of his, contributors of his. And you know, we heard what he had to say, or not say. I think we'd boil it down to this. He said — more recently, he said, look, you can't change Washington from the inside. You've got to change it from the outside. Well, we're going to give him that chance on November the 6th. [applause]

Now, there were a couple of places where we agreed. We agreed, for instance, that we would take this country in very different directions. And he points out that — well, actually it was the vice president that blurted out the truth that they're planning on raising taxes by a trillion. Actually, it's more like 2 trillion with the "Obamacare" taxes.

There's no question but that there's spending and the interest on the debt that they amass by virtue of their spending will do what one recent study showed and that is it's going to cause them to raise taxes on the middle class. And I make this commitment to you. Under no circumstances will I raise taxes on the middle class of America. [applause]

Under his path, we're going to have "Obamacare" installed. And let me tell you what that means. That means a bureaucrat's going to tell you ultimately what kind of treatment you can have. It also means that your health insurance premiums are going to be $2,500 more expensive. I mean, you listen to the president. He tells you all these free things you're getting with "Obamacare." But those free things come with a $2,500 extra charge. What I'm going to do is repeal "Obamacare" and replace it with something that actually works for the American people. [applause]

And I hope you listened carefully also in my debate and then in Paul Ryan's debate because the president, he's pointing out in fact they are cutting $716 billion from Medicare, from current Medicare beneficiaries. Under our team, we're putting that money back. We're going to honor the promises made to our seniors. [applause]

And one more thing that Senator Portman mentioned. He has in his budget cutting our military by hundreds of billions. That's the president has that, not Senator Portman. And then in addition there was that sequester idea the White House had to cut another several hundred billion. They'll cut about a trillion dollars from our military. The secretary of Defense has said that those cuts would be devastating to America, to our military, to our national security. I will not make those cuts. I will not cut our military. I'll keep it second to none in the world. [applause]

And when it came to jobs, both last night with Vice President Biden and in my debate with President Obama, they didn't have a plan for creating jobs for middle income Americans. They say they care about middle income Americans and I believe they care, they just don't know what to do. And so they say, well, they're going to another stimulus. How'd that last one work out, all right? And they say they're going to hire more government workers.

There's nothing wrong with government workers. But that's not going to get this economy going. And then, of course, they've got plans to make investments, they say. A friend of mine said they don't want to pick winners and losers. They just pick losers. And then — and then, of course, they want to raise taxes. I don't think anyone believes raising taxes creates more jobs.

AUDIENCE: No!

MR. ROMNEY: They just don't understand what it takes to get this economy going and we have a plan, five key elements. And Paul spoke about them last night. Let me mention number one, we're taking full advantage of our oil, our coal, our natural gas, our nuclear, our renewables.

We're going to take advantage of our energy and that'll protect and grow energy jobs and also manufacturing. There are a lot of manufacturing jobs including in the glass industry that use a lot of energy. And when energy is less expensive jobs come back here. We keep — under President Obama, we've lost 600,000 manufacturing jobs. We want to bring jobs back home to America. That's number one.

Number two — number two, we're going to make trade work for us. And so, we're going to open up new markets for our goods. But if people cheat like China has cheated, we're going to stop it. [applause]

Number three, I want training programs that help our people have the skills they need to succeed and I want our schools to be giving our kids the kind of education they need for the jobs of tomorrow. And that means we've got to put our kids first and our parents first and teachers first and the teachers union is going to have to go behind. [applause]

Number four, you're not going to get entrepreneurs to risk their life savings to start a small business or big companies to come to America and build a big factory and hire Americans if they think we're on the road to Greece. And if we keep on spending every year a trillion dollars more than we take in, Greece is where we're headed. And that's why Paul Ryan and I will cut federal spending. We'll cap federal spending and get us on track to a balanced budget. [applause]

And number five — number five is this. We're going to champion small business. We're going to help small entrepreneurs build their businesses. And to do that, we're going to keep their taxes down and get their regulations to encourage growth and take that big cloud of "Obamacare" off of small business. We're going to help small business in America. [applause] We do those five things and 12 million jobs grow in America and take-home pay starts going up again. Do you realize that under President Obama every year — not just his first year — every year the median income in America keeps coming down, down, down.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Throw him out!

MR. ROMNEY: The middle class in America is getting crushed, squeezed because incomes are down. At the same time, gasoline prices are up. Food prices are up. Health insurance premiums are up. It's really tough being middle class even if you have a job in America. And so, we're going to go to work to create more jobs and more take-home pay. That is our passion. That's why we're in this race. We need a strong America so that we can provide for our families and for the future of this great country.

And I want you to know — I want you to know that I'm confident that we're going to overcome the challenges we have. I've seen the heart of the American people throughout my life. I know something about the character of those who have great qualities of the human spirit in their heart. And we've stood up regardless of the challenges America has faced. We've been there and overcome them.

I'm reminded of a couple of experiences, one at the Republican Convention just a few months ago. I met Jane Horton there. Jane's husband, sharpshooter, Afghanistan — on the day she's packing a birthday box for him to send to him in Afghanistan, a knock comes at the door to inform her that he has been killed in Afghanistan. Instead of becoming despondent and depressed, she decides that she's going to devote herself to helping families of others who've lost loved ones in conflict.

And on the day of her husband's funeral, some of those misguided souls came there to protest the funeral. And she was asked what do you think about these people. And she said this, and I quote: "Chris died for them to be able to protest." Isn't that amazing American spirit? Isn't that an amazing person, amazing woman? I love our — [applause]. I love our men and women in uniform and their families that sacrifice so deeply for this country.

I love one of the lines from a national hymn of ours: O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life. Would our veterans and members of the Armed Services please raise your hand so we can recognize you? Thank you. [applause]

Let me mention another experience I had. And that was, oh, some years ago I was working with the Boy Scouts of America at the time and was at a court of honor. For those who don't know what that is, that's where the Boy Scouts get their Eagle Awards or other awards. And there was a Formica table set up in the gymnasium and I was seated at the end of the Formica table and there was a flagpole there with a flag next to me.

And the person who was speaking was the Boy Scout scoutmaster from Monument, Colorado. And he said that his Boy Scout troop had wanted to have a very special American flag. So they bought one, gold tassels around the outside. They had it flown above the state capitol, as I recall. And they had it flown above the national capitol in Washington, D.C. When it came home, they said, hey, let's have it go up on the space shuttle.

So they contacted NASA and said, would you take our flag on the space shuttle. And I'm sure they told them that space comes at a premium in space, you know. It's not a lot of room for souvenirs in the space shuttle. But they took it. They took their flag. And he said, you can't imagine how proud our boys were from their school rooms to watch the shuttle take off and go up in the sky on T.V. And then they saw it explode before their eyes.

And the scoutmaster said he called NASA a couple of weeks later and said, did you find any remnant of our flag. And they said, no. He said he called every week for several months, called and called — nothing. And then, come September, he said he was reading in a newspaper some of the debris found from the Challenger disaster and they mentioned something about a flag. So he called and said, did you find our flag. They said, as a matter of fact, and so they got together. NASA came together with the Boy Scout troop and presented the boys with this plastic box.

And they opened it and there was their flag in perfect condition. And they said this. He said, that's it on the flagpole next to Mr. Romney at the end of the table. And I reached over and I grabbed that flag and held it out and it was like electricity ran through my arm because for me, that flag represented the men and women who put themselves in harm's way in our space program, in our military, those who reach for learning, who live for something bigger than themselves, who look for discovery, who put themselves out there.

It reminds me of the people who when they graduate from college or high school say, you know what, I'm going to put aside my career for a while and I'm going to go into the military, serve our country. It reminds me of the dads who are working two jobs so they can make enough money so their kids have the kind of clothes the other kids are wearing at school. It reminds me of those single moms who are wondering how they can put food on the table at the end of the week and scrimp and save to be able to do so, the couples who say we're not going to exchange Christmas gifts among ourselves because we want our kids to have Christmas.

This is America. This is who we are. We're a people who live for big things, who care about the future, for our kids, for our nation, for liberty. This is a critical time for America. It's a time when we have to decide what we're going to be. President Obama wants a bigger and bigger government, more and more encompassing, more and more intrusive in our lives. That's not what makes America America. It's freedom that drives America. It's free people. [applause]

We stand on the shoulders of the greatest generation. My mom and dad and your moms and dads, the fought, protected us, gave us a nation that's free and prosperous, the most prosperous nation in the world. They held a torch for the whole world to see, a torch of liberty and hope and opportunity. There are not as many of them as there are — as there were. And they can't hold the torch as high as they used to. It's our turn. We've got to grab that torch. We've got to take it in. It's our honor. It's our honor to be able to do so. [applause] And so I come to you with this commitment.

When Paul Ryan — when Paul Ryan and I become president and vice president, and I mean when we become president and vice president — [applause] — we will do everything in our power to keep America strong, to restore the values that make our homes the center of our society, to keep our economy strong and to have a military so strong no one would ever think of testing it.

That's the America we see. We make that commitment to you. We need your help. We need to win Ohio. You've got to get your friends to help us win Ohio. We win Ohio, we take back America, we keep this country the hope of the Earth. Thank you so very much, you guys! Lancaster, you're the best! Thank you! [applause]

Mitt Romney, Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Lancaster, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/315718

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