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Paul Ryan Speech: 'What Kind Of People Do We Want To Be?'

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NORFOLK, Va. -- The Romney campaign has released excerpts of Paul Ryan's remarks to be delivered here in Norfolk Saturday morning at his first event as Mitt Romney's running mate.

Mitt Romney is a leader with the skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history. Following four years of failed leadership, the hopes of our country, which have inspired the world, are growing dim; and they need someone to revive them. Governor Romney is the man for this moment; and he and I share one commitment: we will restore the dreams and greatness of this country.

For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There, I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, and turning ideas into action; and action into solutions.

I am committed, in mind and heart, 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 is standing next to me. His name is Mitt Romney. And he will be the next president of the United States

Let me say a word about the man Mitt Romney will replace. No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation. And, in his first 2 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 have the largest deficits and the biggest federal government since WW II.

Nearly 1 out of 6 Americans are in poverty--the worst rate in a generation. Moms and dads are struggling to make ends meet.

Household incomes have dropped by more than $4,000 over the past four years.

Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.

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 from families, from those running small businesses, and from people who are in need. But what I have heard lately troubles me the most. There is something different in their voice and 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." High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It's 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.

I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside Washington. I have 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 build that.

At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses and he turned around failing ones – companies like Staples, Bright Horizons and Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs and 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 budgets with no tax increases, lower unemployment, increase income and improve people’s lives.

In all of these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a man of achievement, excellence and integrity.

We Americans look at one another's success with pride, not resentment, because we know, as more Americans work hard, take risks, and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be improved and uplifted.

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!

We won't replace our founding principles...we will reapply them!

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?

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 and I'm thrilled to be a part of America's Comeback Team. And together, we will unite America and get this done. Thank you.

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