TAMPA -- In accepting the vice presidential nomination tonight, Paul Ryan delivered a blistering attack on the Obama administration, focusing his criticism squarely on the incumbent's signature health care law.
But he also drew on his childhood in Janesville, Wis. He spoke of the Janesville factory that idled a year after Mr. Obama campaigned there, pledging to keep it open.
He spoke of the approach he and presidential nominee Mitt Romney would take: "We will not duck the tough issues. We will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others. We will take responsibility," he said. "We will reapply our founding principles," he said in a nod to Tea Partyers who have not warmed to his running mate.
"The work will be hard. These times demand the best of us -- all of us. But we can do this. Together, we can do this," he said.
"The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours. Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation's economic problems."
As he began to take on the Affordable Care Act, two protesters in the rafters momentarily disrupted the speech, shouting "Health care, not warfare!" The GOP crowd in the Tampa Bay Times Forum drowned them out with chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"
Mr. Ryan paused long enough for security to escort the women out, then launched back into his attack on Mr. Obama's signature policy.
"Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close," he said. "It began 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."
A wildly cheering crowd grew even more boisterous as he consented to "accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us with opportunity for the young and security for the old."
He told delegates there isn't much time to turn the nation around but that he and Mr. Romney are ready to do it.
"We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again," he said. "We can do this."
The convention closes tomorrow with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's acceptance of the presidential nomination.
Tracie Mauriello: email@example.com. First Published August 30, 2012 3:00 AM