U.S Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) outlined the differences between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a rally in the Pittsburgh area on Tuesday. It was his first visit to Pennsylvania as the GOP vice presidential candidate.
"It's a clear choice," said Ryan. "We can either have that opportunity society with a safety net, the society of prosperity and upward mobility where you can make the most of your life -- that's the American idea. Or, we can do more of the same. We can stick with the president's plan."
In a speech at the Beaver Steel Services facility in an industrial district of Carnegie, Ryan said the president broke his promise to cut the national deficit in half by the end of his first term.
"Four years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, a United States Senate violating the budget law and not passing a budget for three years running," recounted Ryan. "We cannot continue to go down this path of spending money we just don't have."
Ryan said President Obama has created a "welfare society with a debt crisis." He said the president's policies have helped big corporations while hurting small businesses, and suggested he and Romney would do better to create jobs by taking advantage of Pennsylvania's natural resources.
"We have energy in this country. Let's use the energy in this country," said Ryan. "Coal, oil, gas, fracking, nuclear, renewables, all of the above."
After a slew of Pennsylvanian Republican speakers, the new vice presidential candidate took to the stage waving a Terrible Towel, and kept it tucked in his pocket throughout his speech. He continued to please the crowd by referencing controversial remarks made by Mr. Obama from the 2008 presidential campaign and beyond, including the "Joe the Plumber" issue from a campaign stop in Ohio.
"Remember this other time, where he was caught on video saying, 'People like to cling to their guns and their religion'?" asked Ryan, to a chorus of boos. "Hey, I'm a Catholic deer hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion."
About two dozen local Democrats gathered outside Beaver Steel Services to protest Ryan's speech, including Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.