Ryan: Proud to accept the calling of my generation
TAMPA, Fla. — The standing ovation and rousing welcome Paul Ryan was given Wednesday night following the “warmup” from New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez surprised no one on the convention floor. Since he was tapped to be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate, the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman has been regarded as nothing less than his party’s “superstar” — one who has made Republicans nationwide the most excited they have been all year about unseating Barack Obama in November.
Wednesday night in Tampa, they came together and showed it.
With one speech, Paul Ryan invoked images of the role he would play in the weeks ahead: visionary orator, campaign “attack dog,” and — without argument — a policy-player in what he repeatedly called “a Romney-Ryan administration.”
Like John F. Kennedy and the man he called “the great Jack Kemp,” Ryan invoked his youth. He was proud, he said, to “accept the calling of my generation” and to help lead the charge to provide “opportunity for the young and security for the old.”
In drawing repeated cheers from his audience, Ryan also demonstrated he can handle the traditional vice presidential role of attack dog.
“After four years of getting the run-around, America is ready for the turnaround,” he declared, adding that the candidate to do it “is Gov. Mitt Romney.”
“I have never seen opponents so silent about their record and so desperate to keep their power,” said Ryan. “Their moment has come and went.”
Much of Ryan’s remarks focused on a spirited defense of his controversial plan to save Medicare, and contrasted it with what he charged was the biggest threat to Medicare: “Obamacare.” The congressman branded the health care plan Republicans so hate as one of “rules, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.”
He even offered lines that would delight followers of Ron Paul, drawing loud applause when he said he would take the benefits of freedom “any day over the supervision and sanctimony of central planners.”
No one Human Events spoke to before Ryan’s address Wednesday doubted that he would do anything less than hit a home run. Based on the audience’s reaction and the remarks of delegates leaving the hall (as well as quite a few television commentators), he didn’t disappoint.
Sources close to Ryan, who once wrote speeches for his hero and mentor Kemp, let reporters know earlier in the day that the vice presidential nominee wrote “perhaps 90 percent of this one.”
Before he headed over to the convention, California State Republican Chairman Tom DelBeccaro recalled to Human Events how we were in his suite at the Golden State’s GOP convention earlier this month when the word came out that Ryan would be Romney’s choice as a running mate.
“You’ll recall that once (Republican National Chairman) Reince Priebus confirmed to me it was Ryan, I said immediately he was the best choice,” said DelBeccaro. “Tonight, he’ll demonstrate to everyone why I was right. And I have a feeling Joe Biden will sleep a little less soundly thinking about that vice presidential debate coming up.”