Text of Paul Ryan's remarks after joining Mitt Romney as the GOP vice presidential running mate
"President Obama, and too many like him in Washington, have refused to make difficult decisions because they are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation. We might have been able to get away with that before, but not now. We're in a different, and dangerous, moment. We're running out of time — and we can't afford four more years of this.
"Politicians from both parties have made empty promises which will soon become broken promises — with painful consequences — if we fail to act now.
"I represent a part of America that includes inner cities, rural areas, suburbs and factory towns. Over the years I have seen and heard from a lot from families, from those running small businesses, and from people who are in need. But what I have heard lately troubles me the most. There is something different in their voice and in their words. What I hear from them are diminished dreams, lowered expectations, uncertain futures.
"I hear some people say that this is just 'the new normal.' High unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It's the result of misguided policies. And next January, our economy will begin a comeback with the Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will lead to more jobs and more take home pay for working Americans.
"America is on the wrong track; but Mitt Romney and I will take the right steps, in the right time, to get us back on the right track!
"I believe my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Gov. Romney's executive and private sector success outside Washington. I have worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline and job creation.
"I'm proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy, someone who knows from experience, that if you have a small business — you did build that.
"At Bain Capital, he launched new businesses and he turned around failing ones — companies like Staples, Bright Horizons and Sports Authority, just to name a few. Mitt Romney created jobs and showed he knows how a free economy works.
"At the Olympics, he took a failing enterprise and made it the pride of our entire nation.
"As governor of Massachusetts, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to balance budgets with no tax increases, lower unemployment, increase income and improve people's lives.
"In all of these things, Mitt Romney has shown himself to be a man of achievement, excellence and integrity.
"Janna and I tell Liza, Charlie and Sam that America is a place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead.
"We Americans look at one another's success with pride, not resentment, because we know, as more Americans work hard, take risks, and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be improved and uplifted.
"But America is more than just a place ... it's an idea. It's the only country founded on an idea. Our rights come from nature and God, not government. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.
"This idea is founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed.
"This idea is under assault. So, we have a critical decision to make as a nation.
"We are on an unsustainable path that is robbing America of our freedom and security. It doesn't have to be this way.
"The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:
"We won't duck the tough issues...we will lead!
"We won't blame others ... we will take responsibility!
"We won't replace our founding principles ... we will reapply them!
"We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:
What kind of country do we want to have?
What kind of people do we want to be?
"We can turn this thing around. Real solutions can be delivered. But, it will take leadership. And the courage to tell you the truth.
"Mitt Romney is this kind of leader. I'm excited for what lies ahead and I'm thrilled to be a part of America's comeback team. And together, we will unite America and get this done.
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