Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke to about 1,000 people this morning during a rally outside of the Dallas County Courthouse. “Hope and change have now become attack and blame,” Ryan said.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke to about 1,000 people this morning during a rally outside of the Dallas County Courthouse. “Hope and change have now become attack and blame,” Ryan said.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ADEL — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan this morning said Barack Obama’s rosy rhetoric can’t hide a revelatory answer on the crucial question facing Americans in the November White House race.

Democrats themselves are having a hard time making the case in Charlotte, N.C., that the nation is better off today than it was four years ago, Ryan told a crowd police officials estimated at more than 1,000 in Adel, on the south side of the historic Dallas County Courthouse.

“We’re not going to hear a conversation that we’re better off than we were four years ago,” the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman predicted of the speeches at the Democratic National Convention this week.

Ryan said the nation’s 8.3 percent unemployment rate is a number President Obama cannot shake. The president made an economically fatal mistake by chasing health-care reform in his first days in office when the focus should have been placed squarely on jobs, Ryan said.

“After getting the runaround for four years, it is time to have a turnaround,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s Iowa campaign co-chairman David Oman, in an interview with The Daily Times Herald, said Ryan is resonating with the state’s voters who are expected to play a determining role in the outcome of the national election.

“It is a delight to see him on the ticket and especially have him out here,” said Oman, a Des Moines businessman and former chief of staff to Govs. Terry Branstad and Robert Ray. “He has a genuineness about him, a sincerity, life experiences that a lot of Iowans can relate to.”

Added Oman, “He’s a truth-teller, talks about what this country needs to do strategically.”

Ryan is not afraid to tackle big-picture economic and entitlement issues, Oman said.

“That’s the reality check that Iowa and America need,” Oman said.

In a speech, Oman said key words are strikingly absent from the Democratic convention.

“How many of you heard the words taxes, spending, debt, deficit?” Oman said.

Ryan drew his most sustained applause when he mocked a 2008 gaffe by President Obama who was unknowingly taped at a San Francisco fund-raiser analyzing the motivations of some rural and Rust Belt voters who weren’t with him. “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,” said then-Sen. Obama.

Ryan said he could spot plenty of fellow hunters in the Adel audience — and that he wouldn’t apologize for his faith or owning guns.

“This Catholic deer hunter is darned proud of that,” Ryan said.

In another religious reference, Ryan said Americans’ rights come from nature and God, not government.

Ryan said GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a plan for competent leadership, a resurrection of the economy, not ambitions of being a revolutionary figure.

“We are not going to transform this country into something it was never intended to be,” Ryan said.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced Ryan, saying he has the policy chops to challenge Obama and an ideology that fits with Iowa.

“We got a fighter,” Grassley said.