Condoleezza Rice, Paul Ryan
Rep. Paul Ryan delivered the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, accepting the party's nomination for vice president.
"We're a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I," Ryan said of presidential nominee Mitt Romney. "And, in some ways, we're a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I've heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, 'I hope it's not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.'"
"A generation apart." Ryan continued. "That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter. Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by. And we both know it can be that way again."
Though pundits agreed that Ryan's speech was littered with half-truths and exaggerations about President Barack Obama's time in office (Fox News called it outright "deceiving"), there's no doubt it got the crowd fired up and solidified the Ryan/Romney ticket's agenda.
"Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close," Ryan told the crowd. "It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn't cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn't correct. It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America. It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that's left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday's wind."
Speaking before Ryan was former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who received a warm welcome as she took the stage to chants of "Condi!" Rice focused her remarks on America's foreign policy, saying she remembered the events of September 11, 2001 "as if it was yesterday."
"From that day on, our sense of vulnerability and our concepts of security were never the same again," she told the audience.
"That is the question of the hour, where does America stand?" Rice continued. "You see, when friends or foes alike don't know the answer to that question unambiguously and clearly, the world is likely to be a more dangerous and chaotic place. Since World War II, the united states has had an answer to that question. We stand for free peoples and free markets. We will defend and support them. ... One of two things will happen if we don't lead. Either no one will lead, and there will be chaos, or someone will fill the vacuum who does not share our values."
Thursday, the final night of the convention, will feature Romney's acceptance of the presidential nomination, as well as a performance by Taylor Hicks and remarks from a surprise guest.
Are you keeping up with the convention? Watch Paul Ryan's speech below: