Ryan promises economic boost
Paul Ryan promised last night that he and Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney would make the tough choices needed to lead a US economic turnaround that generates jobs and cuts government spending and debt.
Mr Ryan accepted his nomination as Mr Romney's running mate at the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, drawing repeated roars from delegates as he vowed to challenge US president Barack Obama's economic policies and confront Democrats on changes to the popular Medicare health program for seniors.
A fiscal conservative and budget expert, Mr Ryan said the White House race would offer "the clearest possible choice" in the November 6th election about possible remedies for a sluggish economy and high unemployment.
"Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation's economic problems," Mr Ryan said in a speech that introduced the little-known Wisconsin congressman to voters.
"We will not duck the tough issues - we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others - we will take responsibility," he said.
"So here's the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?"
Mr Ryan pointed out his elderly mother, Betty, in the audience when talking about Medicare and drew laughs when he mocked Mr Romney's old-fashioned choices in music.
But the Obama campaign criticised Mr Ryan for misleading voters on Medicare, a deficit reduction plan in Congress and even a factory closure in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin.
"If Paul Ryan was Pinocchio his nose would be back in Janesville about now," Mr Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter.
Mr Romney's selection of Mr Ryan, chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, has energized party conservatives who have doubted Mr Romney at times and has put Mr Ryan's proposed changes to Medicare at the centre of the campaign debate.
Mr Ryan's budget plan would rein in government spending and shift some Medicare participants into private insurance plans purchased with the help of government subsidies, a proposal that Democrats charge would put future benefits for seniors at risk.
On the second full day of the convention, Republicans also criticized Mr Obama's foreign policy and featured a parade of w omen and Hispanic speakers trying to broaden Mr Romney's appeal.
Republicans hope to strike a balance at the convention between sharp indictments of Mr Obama's leadership and a broader introduction of Mr Romney's plans for the economy and the softer side of a candidate who has had trouble connecting with voters.