Mitt Romney photo

Remarks with Paul Ryan at a Campaign Event in Morrison, Colorado

October 23, 2012

RYAN: Thank you, wow! Look at this! Wow! [applause] Hello, Colorado! [applause] Look at this! We love you guys. Hey, Colorado — Colorado — hey, Colorado, are you ready to help us win this thing? [applause] Man, that's right sir, we can do this. We will do this. I want to thank this great governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez. Thank you so much. [applause] And let's hear it for Rodney Atkins and for Kid Rock. Guys, awesome, thank you so much. [applause]

We've got some great Colorado leaders here — Cory Gardner, Bob Beauprez, Mike Coffman, Joe Coors. Thank you guys for all your leadership. Thank you for putting your necks on the line for us. [applause] We love Colorado. We've been coming out here since I was a little guy. My wife every year in childhood went to this little place called Lost Valley Ranch out in Pike National Forest. We've been coming out fishing, skiing, mountain biking, climbing. This is a beautiful state and this beautiful state is going to deliver Mitt Romney as the next president of the United States, isn't it? [applause]

And you know what we saw last night? Last night we witnessed for the third time a man who is ready to be a great president. [applause] And what we witnessed was a man with a vision, a man with bold ideas, a man with solutions. What we also witnessed was a president who's out of ideas. We witnessed a president who really has no record to run on. What we witnessed is a president who is simply offering more of the same. And you know what, Colorado, we can't afford four more years like these last four years. We need to elect Mitt Romney to put us back on the right track. [applause]

You see, all that President Obama is offering is more of the same — more borrowing, more spending, more taxing, more money printing. If that would work, we would be entering a golden age along with Greece. It doesn't work. Four years ago, he came here to Denver. He offered so much hope, so much change.

Candidate Obama then said if you don't have any fresh ideas, you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, you paint your opponent as someone to run from. You make a big election about small things. That's what he said four years ago. Sadly, that is exactly what he has become and we're not going to fall for it, are we? [applause]

We saw the clear choice yet again last night. We saw that Governor Romney is offering a specific plan. You see, this election we're not just picking the next president for four more years. We are picking the direction and the course of our country for a generation. This is that kind of an election. [applause] It doesn't matter what generation you come from. This is the most important election in your generation. [applause]

And while Mitt Romney is offering specific solutions, plans to get the 23 million people struggling for work to find a job, President Obama is scrapping to try and keep his job by distorting Mitt Romney, by trying to distract voters to try and win by default and we're not going to fall for it, are we?


REP. RYAN: Of all those times, this is one of those times where the man and the moment are meeting so well. We need leadership. We have serious problems. We need leadership. Of all the things we know about Mitt Romney, the one word that rushes to your mind is this man is a leader. This man is a job creator. [applause]

He turned around the Olympics. He helped create tens of thousands of jobs as a successful businessman, and by the way, being successful in business, that's a good thing. There's nothing wrong with that. We think that's good. We want more people to become successful. [applause] We take pride in that.

When he was governor of a Democratic state, did he demean and demoralize and demagogue the Democrats? No. He reached across the aisle. He didn't compromise principle but he found common ground and he got things done. He balanced a budget without raising taxes. That's the kind of leader we need in the White House right now, someone who's going to get things done. [applause]

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? [applause] The president's run out of ideas. He's going to try and distract you for the next two weeks. We're not going to fall for it because what we're offering is to give you, our fellow countrymen and women, a clear choice. It's a plan to get us back to work, to bring us back together, to leave our kids and our grandkids a debt-free nation, to grow the economy, to create jobs, to use our energy to get people back out of poverty, back in the middle class.

It takes leadership and here is what we are committing. We are not going to duck these tough issues. We're not going to kick the can down the road. We're going to lead. [applause] And we're not going to spend four years blaming other people. We're going to take responsibility and fix this mess in Washington. [applause] And we are not going to try to transform this country into something it was never intended to be. We are going to reclaim and reapply those founding principles that made us great, that our veterans right here fought for. This is that we're going to do.

The man who's going to do this is right here. The man who's going to put us back on the right path, the man that Colorado is going to deliver, the man who's going to be our next president of the United States is right here. His name is Mitt Romney and here he is, the next president of the United States, Mitt Romney. [applause]

MITT ROMNEY: Thank you, Colorado! Wow, that's a Colorado welcome, I've got to tell you. [applause] Thank you! Boy, what a — what a place this is. This is — [applause]. This is a magnificent — this is a magnificent place for a guy born in Detroit to come here and look at these extraordinary mountains. You look at the handiwork of our creator and it's just — it's just overwhelming. [applause]

Of course, there's nothing more impressive — there's nothing more impressive, of course, than the handiwork of creating a child of God and we're all brothers and sisters in a human family that right now wants to see the kind of leadership that America can bring to the world. And Paul Ryan and I intend to bring it with your help. [applause]

And you — you hear the word — you hear the word grassroots from time to time, about how the grassroots are involved. You recognize that the most important thing in helping change the course of a nation and setting the course on a path that will lead to greatness and prosperity again and again, that is the grassroots of America. That's the people of America. That's who we are tonight. That is you and your willingness to be here tonight. [applause] It makes the difference. And you're voting.

By the way, there's early voting now. You can take your ballots and send them in if you've got them and you can early vote.

You guys, if you've got our absentee ballots, make sure and send it in. If you haven't got one, get into the center to make sure that you get voted early. We want to get that done. We want to bank all those votes so that on Election Day you can go out and get those people to the polls that otherwise wouldn't get there. Will you do that for me? [applause]

Now, my — my heart is — my heart is full. My heart is full because of so many friends here and that includes you but also it includes Governor Susana Martinez who's come here from New Mexico to welcome me and introduce us. [applause] And Rodney Atkins, we listen to Rodney's music almost every day because on the campaign trail we play it.

When we come by afterwards and shake some hands it's Rodney's music we listen to. He's a great patriot. I love him, love listening to him. [applause] And Kid Rock is a Detroit guy and I was born in Detroit as well. And so, we hear "Born Free" every day as well and recognize what a privilege it is to be born in the nation, the greatest nation in the history of the Earth that enjoys freedom and shares it with our friends around the world. Thanks, Kid Rock. [applause]

And just before I came in here, I met another Colorado great — to see Todd Helton and to see his support means the world. [applause] Now, I'm not sure how busy you've been the last few weeks but did you get a chance to watch the debates? [applause] They have — they have supercharged our campaign, I've got to tell you that. And you know we're on the home stretch now and I think the people of Colorado are going to get us all the way there. What do you think? [applause]

What you're seeing — what you're seeing across this country as we've had these debates and as Paul and I have gone across the nation, you're seeing this movement growing. You're seeing people coming together to say, you know, we love America, we recognize we could do better. I came in and some of the folks here were holding signs, Democrats for Romney, all right. I love that, I love that. [applause]

You see, Paul and I have a few things in common. One is we've both learned how to reach across the aisle in our elected office to find ways to work with Democrats, Republicans, Independents to get the job done. And we need you to reach across the neighborhood to Democrats and Independents as well. Make sure they understand that this is a year to vote for real change if you want to have real recovery. I need you to get those folks to vote for us. [applause]

And if — and if they ask you, well, why should we vote for Mitt and Paul instead of the team that's there now, you've got a lot of things you can tell them. But one is this. Say look at the Obama campaign. It's reduced to talking about smaller and smaller things. They're talking about saving characters on Sesame Street. They're talking about silly word games. Day in and day out, there's one attack after the other and attacks on us, that does not make an agenda for the future. Our campaign is about getting this economy going, getting good jobs for the American people, leading in the world, protecting freedom and creating a bright and prosperous future. [applause]

What you're — what you're seeing from the Obama campaign is an incredibly shrinking campaign. Look, the president's out of ideas. He's out of excuses and in November you're going to make sure he's out of office. [applause] Look, Paul and I can handle two more weeks of attacks but I don't think America can handle four more years like the last four years. [applause] I mean — I mean, you think about it. You think about it. Do you think we can handle four more years where there are 23 million Americans that are out of work looking for a good job?


MR. ROMNEY: Do you think we can handle four more years with declining incomes every year?


MR. ROMNEY: Do you think we can handle four more years with declining home values?


MR. ROMNEY: How about four more years with gasoline prices going up and up and up?


MR. ROMNEY: Are you ready for a real recovery?

AUDIENCE: Yeah! [applause]

MR. ROMNEY: How about a —

AUDIENCE: Romney! Romney! Romney! [applause]

MR. ROMNEY: Well, if you want a real recovery, and I can tell by your response the answer is yes to that. If you want a real recovery, we're going to have to have a real change and the president said he was a president of change but in fact he's become a president of status quo and the policies of the president are a continuation of what we've seen over the last four years. He calls his campaign slogan forward. I call it forewarned, all right? [applause]

The president — the president said that he can't change Washington from the inside. He can only change it from the outside. Well, we're going to give him that chance, you see. [applause] And Paul — and Paul and I — Paul and I, by finding good Democrats and good Independents and Republicans, are going to work to change Washington from the inside and the different course that we would take from what the president would take is pretty stark in comparison. There's no question but if the president's reelected you're going to see at the end of four years about $20 trillion in debt. If Paul and I are elected, and we will be elected by you — [applause].

Then we're — then we're — then we're actually going to pull back federal spending and we're going to cap it at 20 percent of the economy and we're going to finally get America on track to a balanced budget. [applause] If the — if the president had his way, why he's going to cut $716 billion out of Medicare. If we get our way, we're going to put that money back in Medicare and honor the promises made to our seniors. [applause] If the — if the president has his way, why, you're going to see your health insurance premiums go up by about $2,500 a year because, you see, he'll install "Obamacare." We'll repeal "Obamacare" and finally get the kind of health care that holds down costs. [applause]

And there's no question in my mind but if the president were to be reelected, why, you would see unemployment stay at extremely high levels for additional years. This recovery has been more tepid than it should have been. Right now, he said we'd be at 5.4 percent unemployment. We're 9 million jobs short of that. You think of that. These are real people living lives, that are having a hard time making ends meet, having a hard time planning and thinking about the future.

If you've been unemployed for any period of time you know it's not just about the money. It also has a big impact on how you feel about yourself and about your relationship with others and sometimes even your faith is tested. Look, these are tough times for a lot of Americans and the president's answer to this is another stimulus and more government workers and higher taxes. That hasn't worked. The right course for America is our 5-step plan to get America working. We're going to put it in place to get the jobs America needs. [applause]

And you — and you know what they are. My guess is as I tell them to you, you could say them as well, but don't. But number one, we're going to get North American energy independence within eight years. [applause] We're going to — to do that — to do that, we're going to take advantage of our coal, our oil, our natural gas, our nuclear and our renewables. [applause]

We're also — number two, we're going to take advantage of trade. We're going to make trade work for us. It's good for us to trade with other nations. That creates jobs for us, particularly in Latin America. There's opportunity there. Latin America's economy is almost as large as the economy of China and it's fast growing, a growing middle class. We need more trade with Latin America and we'll get it. And by the way, if nations cheat in trade, and China has cheated, I will stop it. We cannot allow them to steal our jobs on an unfair basis. (Applause.


We're going to — we're going to make sure our training programs help the people get the skills they need. We're going to make sure our schools are world class again and we're going to do that by doing a simple thing --making sure that in everything we do in education, the kids and the parents and the teachers come first and the teachers union and their interest is going to have to come behind. [applause]

Number four — number four, we are going to balance the budget because we're not going to have people come invest and start enterprises here unless they see that we're not on the road to Greece. If we keep spending more than we take in, we're going to sell our future. We're going to crush our kids with a massive debt. It's immoral. It's wrong. We have to have a balanced budget.

And number five, we're going to champion small business. We're going to make it easier for small business to grow and thrive. [applause] Small business — small business, by the way, is where the president intends to raise taxes. And raising taxes on small business kills jobs. Paul Ryan and I will not raise taxes on small business. We'll lower them and we'll lower taxes on the middle class in America. [applause]

You see, the president's status quo campaign, you know, going forward with the same ideas as we've seen over the last four years is why he's slipping and it's why our campaign is gaining. It's why this movement is growing across the country. And it's why we need you to go out and get other people and recruit you to this cause because we need to take back America and get America strong again, providing for our citizens a bright and prosperous future. [applause]

We can do better. We don't have to settle for what we've seen over the last four years. Americans are tired of being tired. We can do better. We have within us, within the American people, the entrepreneurial spirit to build businesses and grow them and to hire one another. We have the skills to be able to educate people with the opportunities they might have for a future. And of course, in this great country we have a series of qualities that in my view define some of the greatness of the human spirit.

I've throughout my life had the chance to see something about the heart of the American people. It's an unusual people in many respects. I'll tell you a story that you may have heard. I was a Boy Scout leader some years ago, and — [applause]. And I was at a — I was at a Boy Scout court of honor and there was a Formica table at the front of the room and at the end of the Formica table was a flagpole with a flag on it. I was sitting next to the flag.

And the person speaking at the podium was the scoutmaster from Monument, Colorado. [applause] And he said that the troop there in Monument had wanted to have a very special American flag so they bought one. It's one with the gold tassels around the outside. And they had it flown above the capitol building. And then when it came home they said, well, we could make it even more special if it went up on the space shuttle.

So they contacted NASA and said, would you take our flag with you on the space shuttle. And NASA said, well, you know, space is at a premium in space, but they said, sure, we'll take this Boy Scout souvenir on this — on this flight. And so he said the boys were so proud. They were looking from their homerooms on TV as they watched the shuttle launch and saw the rocket taking that shuttle in the air and then they saw it explode on the TV screen.

And he said, he called NASA a couple of weeks later. And he said he called every week for months and still no word of any remnant of the flag. And then I think it was about September he mentioned that he was looking through an article about some of the debris that had been found from the Challenger disaster and they mentioned a flag. And so he contacted NASA and they said, in fact, we do have a presentation to make to you.

And so the boys and their troop got together with a representative of NASA and the boys were handed this plastic container. And they opened the container and there was their flag in perfect condition. And — [applause]. And he said — and that's the flag at the end of the table next to Mr. Romney. It was on that flagpole. And so I reached out and I grabbed it and held it out and it was as if electricity was running through my arm because I thought of those astronauts and what they'd sacrificed and why they'd sacrificed — for learning, for discovery.

We're pioneers. It's in our nature to live for something bigger than ourself (sic), to give of ourselves for great things. It's what Americans do. [applause] I think of the young men and young women who graduate from high school or college and say, I'm going to put my career on the side. I'm going to go into the military and serve my country. It's that kind of spirit. [applause] How many in the audience this evening are members of the Armed Forces or veterans? Please raise your hand and be recognized. Wow. [applause] Thank you.

I love that stanza in one of our national hymns, that stanza that says: 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 members of our Armed Services. [applause] A nation, a people who would give to others — I think of a single mom who scrimps and saves so that she can provide a good meal to her child at the end of the day or to a dad that's got two jobs right now, two jobs so he can make sure that his kids have the clothes that don't make them look different from the other kids at school.

I think of the mom and dad who are saying to each other we're not going to exchange gifts this Christmas because we want to make sure our kids have a good Christmas. It is in our heart. It is in the American way to give to others. We're a compassionate and caring and patriotic and God-loving people. And this great nation is called upon right now to decide what kind of nation we want to be in the future.

And I'm convinced that the principles that made us the nation that we are principles that must be restored and extolled. And Paul Ryan and I will do that. We'll bring back the America that has been the hope of the Earth. And we need your help. We need — [applause].

Because it matters — it matters for your kids and their kids. It matters for 23 million Americans struggling to get a good job. It matters for the future of our planet to have a nation like ours, the leader of the world, strong and robust with a strong military and a strong economy and strong values and strong allies. It matters.

We're going to make it happen. Colorado, you need to make it happen. We can do it together. I love this country. I believe in America. I believe in you. We together can make America the great hope of the Earth it's always been. Thank you so very much! We sure love you guys! Thank you! What a welcome! What a sendoff! Thank you! [applause]

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

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