“While the president is talking Big Bird, binders and birth control,” Jennifer Rubin writes, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan was “delivering a serious and substantive speech at Cleveland University”. The presidential nominee himself will be delivering “a significant speech on the economy Friday” in Ames, Iowa.
At least, one party would rather outline its vision than attack its opponents. In his Cleveland address, Ryan only once made mention of his opponents and then merely to chide them for not offering “an agenda for a second term.” He talked about real issues, the problem of poverty and the American ideal of upward mobility:
Mitt Romney and I are running because we believe that Americans are better off in a dynamic free enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth and opportunity and upward mobility instead of a stagnant government-directed economy that stifles job creations and fosters government dependency.
He faulted the centralized top-down approach and heralded the bipartisan welfare reform of the 1990s, but lamented that today, “we’re still trying to measure compassion by how much government spends not by how many people we help escape from poverty”, then put forward the “alternative approach” that he and Romney favor:
Well, to hear some tell it, we think everybody should just fend for themselves. That’s just a false argument. It’s a strawman set up to avoid a genuine debate.
The truth is Mitt Romney and I believe in true compassion and upward mobility, and we’re offering a vision based on real reforms for lifting people out of poverty.
He went on to note how how government’s excesses have undermined civil society — and to show respect for the work of private institutions who should be left “free to do the work that only they can do.” He promised to “restore those parts of the welfare reform law that have been undone or weakened” and “apply other lessons from welfare reform’s success.”
Michael Warren has a good write-up of the speech as does Rubin. Both merit your time. And does the speech itself. It shows that the Republican ticket has a genuine concern for those in need and a plan to help them. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, in short, are putting forward a vision consistent with ideas of such luminaries of the American conservative movement as Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp.
And they’re articulating that vision in the middle of the campaign. Makes you proud to be a Republican this time around.