TAMPA, Fla. — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan devoted a key speech Wednesday evening to attacking the current administration while praising Mitt Romney and his record as a “defender of marriage.”
During his address before the Republican National Convention, Ryan brought up marriage while explaining Republican presidential nominee Romney’s dedication to his faith, saying, “Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best.”
Although Ryan never explicitly mentioned marriage rights for gay couples in his remarks, Romney’s opposition to marriage equality is well known. In addition to speaking out against same-sex marriage — as well as civil unions — over the course of the Republican primary season, Romney was recently revealed to have donated $10,000 to efforts to pass California’s Proposition 8 in 2008 through a political action committee.
The records of the two candidates on the Republican ticket aligned. Romney backs a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage throughout the country; Ryan voted for such an amendment in 2004 and 2006. Similarly, Romney has criticized the Obama administration for no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court while Ryan voted to reaffirm the anti-gay law on the House floor.
But the remarks on marriage were a small portion of a speech largely devoted to blaming President Obama for the economic problems facing the country and saying Romney’s experience as governor of Massachusetts and an entrepreneur at Bain Capital is the medicine needed to cure the nation of its ailments.
Responding to attacks from the Obama campaign depicting Romney as a ruthless venture capitalist who terminated positions and sent jobs overseas, Ryan said Romney helped start companies and restructure failing ones, adding, “By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.”
“Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not,” Ryan said. “He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?”
Ryan, a seven-term member of Congress who chairs the House Budget Committee, also appeared to defend his own record by saying his ticket would “protect and strengthen” Medicare while Obama’s policies — particularly the health care reform law — have threatened it. As a member of House Republican leadership, Ryan has proposed budget plans that would zero out funding for Medicare in favor of vouchers with private companies.