TAMPA, Fla. — Accepting the Republican vice presidential nomination, Rep. Paul Ryan on Wednesday attacked President Barack Obama's presidency and promised that he and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney would tackle the nation's economic and fiscal problems head-on.
“After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again,” Ryan told cheering delegates at the Republican National Convention here.
Ryan, of Wisconsin, said Obama's presidency was “adrift” and that his re-election campaign had been reduced to fear and division.
“With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money — and he's pretty experienced at that,” Ryan said.
The 42-year-old Ryan made a special appeal to young people, joking that Romney listens to music played in hotel elevators while his own preferences run to heavy metal bands.
And one of his biggest applause lines came when he addressed the issue of unemployed college graduates.
“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,” Ryan said.
“Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now,” Ryan said.
Earlier in the day, at a campaign rally, the president told students at the University of Virginia that the Republican economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut and “somehow prosperity is going to rain down on the rest of us.”
“Now, many of you were too young to remember, but we tried this for about a decade before I came into office. It didn't work then; it's not going to work now. … Our economic strength does not come from the top down,” Obama said.
Ryan's remarks came on the second night of the shortened convention, a night of more sharp attacks on Obama and a focus on speakers who had risen to success against the odds.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received loud applause and a sustained standing ovation when she referred to her upbringing.
“And on a personal note,” she said. “A little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham, the most segregated big city in America, her parents can't take her to a movie theater or a restaurant, but they make her believe that even though she can't have a hamburger at the Woolworth's lunch counter, she can be president of the United States and she becomes the secretary of state.”