TAMPA, Fla. — Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan got roaring applause from the delegates at the Republican National Committee here Wednesday night as he accepted their nomination to be vice president and took hard swings at President Obama, arguing that the Obama presidency that once inspired a country is “like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.”
“It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new,” Ryan said. “Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.”
In another crowd-pleasing line, the boyish Wisconsin congressman went on to suggest that Obama won’t be able to count on the young people who helped propel him to the presidency in 2008 this time around.
“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life,” Paul said.
He cited statistics about the poor economy, pointing out that 23 million Americans are still out of work and that nearly one in six Americans are living in poverty.
“So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?” he asked.
Much has been made of Ryan’s enthusiasm for reforming entitlements and he used his speech to say he would aggressively defend his plan against Democrats trying to demagogue the issue.
“So our opponents can consider themselves on notice,” he said. “In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it.”
The crowd then went wild when Ryan declared: “Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.”
Ryan also spoke glowingly of Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, saying the former Massachusetts governor’s “whole life has prepared him for this moment.”
In a lighter moment, Ryan got laughs by drawing attention to his youthfulness in comparison to Romney.
“We’re a full generation apart, Gov. Romney and I,” Ryan said.
“And, in some ways, we’re a little different,” he continued. “There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.”
Ryan accepted the nomination by suggesting he and Romney are ready to save the country.
“I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old — and I know that we are ready,” he said.