The following are remarks as delivered by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on Aug. 11, 2012, as Romney introduced Ryan as his running mate aboard the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va.:
ROMNEY: Thank you so very much. It's great to be back in
Virginia and here in Norfolk. Your city's beauty is matched
only by its proud heritage as a defender of freedom. Thank you,
Virginia. Thank you, Norfolk.
ROMNEY: Today we take another step forward in helping
restore the promise of America as we move forward in this
campaign and on to help lead the nation to better days.
It's an honor to announce my running mate and next vice
president of the United States, Paul Ryan.
ROMNEY: His leadership -- his leadership begins with
character and values. Paul is a man of tremendous character,
shaped in large part by his early life. Paul's father died when
he was in high school. That forced him to grow up earlier than
any young man should, but Paul did, with the help of his devoted
mother, his brothers and sister and a supportive community.
And as he did, he internalized the virtues and hardworking
ethic of the Midwest. Paul Ryan works in Washington, but his
beliefs remain firmly rooted in Janesville, Wisconsin.
He's a person of great steadiness whose integrity is
unquestioned and his word is good. Paul's upbringing is obvious
in how he's conducted himself throughout his life, including his
leadership in Washington.
In a city that's far too often characterized by pettiness
and personal attacks, Paul Ryan is a shining exception. He
doesn't demonize his opponents. He understands that honorable
people can have honest differences. He appeals to the better
angels of our nature.
There are a lot of people in the other party who might
disagree with Paul Ryan; I don't know of anyone who doesn't
respect his character and judgment.
Paul is in public life for all the right reasons, not to
advance his personal ambition but to advance the ideals of
freedom and justice and to increase opportunity and prosperity
to people of every class and faith, every age and ethnic
A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity
of every human life.
With energy and vision, Paul Ryan has become an
intellectual leader of the Republican Party. He understands the
fiscal challenges facing America, our exploding deficits and
crushing debt and the fiscal catastrophe that awaits us if we
don't change course.
He combines a profound sense of responsibility for what we
owe the next generation with an unbounded optimism in America's
future and understanding of all the wonderful things the
American people can do.
Paul also combines firm principles with a practical concern
for getting things done. He's never been content to simply
curse the darkness. He'd rather light candles. And throughout
his legislative career he's shown the ability to work with
members of both parties to find common ground on some of the
hardest issues confronting the American people.
So Paul and I are beginning on a journey that will take us
to every corner of America. We're offering a positive governing
agenda that will lead to economic growth, to widespread and
shared prosperity and will improve the lives of our fellow
Our plan to strengthen the middle class will get America
back to work and get our country back on track.
We offer solutions that are bold, specific and achievable.
We offer our commitment to help create 12 million new jobs and
to bring home better take-home pay to middle class families.
To strengthen the middle class, we'll provide our workers
and our children with the skills to succeed. We'll cut the
deficit, have trade that works for America and champion small
business. And finally, we'll unleash our energy resources to
achieve North American energy independence.
We will help care for those who can't care for themselves
and we will return work to welfare.
As poverty has risen to historic and tragic levels with
nearly one out of six Americans now having fallen into poverty,
we will act to bring these families into the middle class.
Unlike the current president, who has cut Medicare funding by
$700 billion, we will preserve and protect Medicare and Social
Security and keep them there for future generations.
And under the current president, health care has only
become more expensive. We're going to reform health care so
that more Americans have access to affordable health care and
we'll get that started by repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
At a time when the president's campaign is taking American
politics to new lows, we're going to do something very
differently. We're going to talk about aspirations and American
ideals, about bringing people together to serve, to solve the
urgent problems facing our nation.
ROMNEY: And when that message wins in America, it will be
a victory for every American. Today is a good day for America,
and there are better days ahead. Join me --
-- join me -- in welcoming the next President (sic) of the
United States, Paul Ryan.
RYAN: Wow! Hey. And right in front of the U.S.S.
Wisconsin, huh? Man!
ROMNEY: Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake.
But I did not make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell
you this, he's going to be the next vice president of the United
RYAN: Governor Romney, Ann, thank you.
I am deeply honored and excited to join you as your running
I want to tell you about Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is a
leader with the skills, the background and the character that
our country needs at this crucial time in its history.
Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our
country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim. They
need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for
And he and I share one commitment. We will restore the
greatness of this country. I want you to meet my family. This
is my wife, Janna. Our daughter Liza and our sons Charlie and
Sam. I'm surrounded by the people I love.
I love you, too.
And I've been asked by governor Romney to serve the country
that I love.
Janesville, Wisconsin, is where I was born and raised, and
I never really left it. It's our home now. For the last 14
years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There,
I have focused on solving the problems that confront our
country, turning ideas into action and action into solutions.
I am committed, in heart and mind, to putting that
experience to work in a Romney administration.
This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation, and it
is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America
back to prosperity and greatness.
That man -- that man is standing right next to me. His
name is Mitt Romney, and he will be the next President of the
United States of America.
My dad died when I was young. He was a good and decent
man. There are a few things he would say that have just always
stuck with me. He would say, son, you're either part of the
problem or part of the solution. Well, regrettably, President
Obama has become part of the problem and Mitt Romney is the
The other thing my dad would always say is that every
generation of Americans leaves their children better off.
That's the American legacy. Sadly, for the first time in our
history, we are on a path which will undo that legacy. That is
why we need new leadership to become part of the solution, new
leadership to restore prosperity, economic growth and jobs.
It is our duty to save the American dream for our children
and theirs. I believe -- I believe there is no person in
America who is better prepared because of his experience,
because of the principles he holds, and because of his
achievements in excellence in so many different arenas to lead
America at this point in our history.
Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney is about to
replace. No one disputes that President Obama inherited a
difficult situation. And in his first two years, with his party
in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item
on his agenda, but that didn't make things better. In fact, we
find ourselves in a nation facing debt, doubt and despair.
This is the worst economic recovery in 70 years.
Unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years,
the longest run since the Great Depression. Families are
hurting. We had the largest deficits and biggest federal
government since World War II.
Nearly one out of six Americans are in poverty, the worst
rate in a generation. Moms and dads are struggling to make ends
meet. Household incomes have dropped more than $4,000 over the
past four years.
Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a
record of failure.
President Obama and too many like him in Washington have
refused to make difficult decisions because they are more
worried about their next election than they are about the next
We might have been able to get away with that before, but
not now. We're in a different and dangerous moment. We're
running out of time. And we can't afford four more years of
this. Politicians from both parties have made empty promises,
which will soon become broken promises with painful consequences
if we fail to act now.
I represent a part of America that includes inner cities,
rural areas, suburbs and factory towns. Over the years I have
seen and heard from a lot of families, from a lot of those who
are running small businesses and from people who are in need.
But what I've heard lately, that's what troubles me the
most. There's something different in their voice, in their
words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered
expectations, uncertain futures. I hear some people say that
this is just the new normal.
Higher unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is
not a new normal.
It is the result of misguided policies. And next January,
our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney plan for a
stronger middle class that will lead to more jobs and more
take-home pay for working Americans.
America is on the wrong track, but Mitt Romney and I will
take the right steps, in the right time, to get us back on the
right track. I believe that my record of getting things done in
Congress will be a very helpful compliment to Governor Romney's
executive and private sector success outside of Washington.
I've worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats
to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline and
job creation. I'm proud to stand with a man who understands
what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who
knows from experience that if you have a small business, you did
At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses and he turned
around failing ones, companies like Staples, Bright Horizons,
Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs
and he showed he knows how a free economy works.
At the Olympics, he took a failing enterprise and made it
the pride of our entire nation.
As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with Democrats and
Republicans to balance the budget without increasing taxes,
lowering unemployment, increased income and improved people's
In all these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a
man of achievement, excellence and integrity.
Janna and I tell Liza, Charlie and Sam that America is a
place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get
We look with success at one another's success with pride,
not resentment, because we know --
-- we know that as more Americans work hard, take risks,
succeed, more people will prosper. Our communities will
benefit. And individual lives will be uplifted and improved.
(UNKNOWN): (Inaudible) Obama for three years (ph).
RYAN: America is more than just a place, though. America
is an idea. It's the only country founded on an idea. Our
rights come from nature and God, not from government.
That's right. That's who we are. That's how we built this
country. That's who we are.
That's what made us great. That's our founding. We
promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.
And this idea was founded on the principles of liberty,
freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by
consent of the governed.
This idea is under assault. So we have a critical decision
to make as a nation. We are on an unsustainable path that is
robbing America of our freedom and security. It doesn't have to
be this way.
The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this: we
won't duck the tough issues, we will lead.
We won't blame others, we will take responsibility.
And we won't replace our founding principles, we will
reapply them. That's what we will do.
We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the
right and opportunity to make the choice.
What kind of country do we want to have? What kind of
people do we want to be?
RYAN: We can turn this thing around. We can. We can turn
this thing around. Real solutions can be delivered, but it will
take leadership and the courage to tell you the truth.
Mitt Romney is this kind of leader. I'm excited for what
lies ahead. I'm thrilled to be a part of America's comeback
team. And together we will unite America and get this done.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Thanks. Thank you.