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U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan waves with his mother, Betty Ryan,
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Date published: 9/15/2012
WASHINGTON--Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Friday that he's given Mitt Romney some personal advice: Talk more about yourself.
"I'm not the only one who has told Mitt that maybe he needs to talk more about himself and his life," the Wisconsin congressman told an audience of social conservatives gathered for the yearly Values Voters Summit. "It wouldn't hurt if voters knew more of those little things that reveal a man's heart and his character."
Romney, who spoke to the gathering last year but took a pass this time, dispatched Ryan to appear on his behalf before this core part of the GOP base. Social conservatives and evangelical Christians never have fully warmed to the former Massachusetts governor, given his Mormon faith and past reversals on social issues they hold dear. But Ryan is one of their own: a Catholic with an unblemished anti-abortion voting record in Congress and a reputation as a crusader for fiscal conservatism.
In his 30-minute speech, Ryan sought to energize these so-called values voters--a key portion of the GOP base that Romney's campaign needs to help organize voters and turn out in droves for him in November.
He also delivered a blistering critique of President Barack Obama's position on abortion, saying the president stands for an "absolute, unqualified right to abortion."
Ryan also discussed his own religion, saying: "I am a Catholic, not because anyone has ordered me to accept a creed, but because of the grace and truth revealed in my faith--and that's how we all feel about the faiths we hold." He received several standing ovations during the address. Two protesters who interrupted him and were quickly escorted out of the hotel ballroom where Ryan spoke.
Earlier in Harrisonsburg, Ryan told Virginia supporters that he and Romney would get the nation's debt and deficit under control.
During a rally at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds, he also dug in on criticism of Obama's "you didn't build that" line the president offered not far from Harrisonburg. Ryan also linked the United States' economic woes with China's rise.
He has made several stops in Virginia since his selection as presidential nominee Mitt Romney's running mate. Ryan spoke in Richmond two weeks ago in his first rally following the Republican National Convention.
After the Harrisonburg event, Ryan was headed to Roanoke for a private fundraiser.