As visiting Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan took the stage in Carnegie Tuesday morning, the crowd loudly cheered, “Here we go, Ryan, here we go.”
Thousands of supporters attended the rally at Beaver Steel, a family-owned small business in Rosslyn Farms Borough.
Ryan swung a Terrible Towel as he entered the stage and sported it in his back pocket for the remainder of his speech. He spoke on economic growth, creating jobs, the principles of a good leader and “the American Dream.”
“What kind of country do we want to be? What kind of people do we want to be?
We’re not just making a decision for what we’re going to do for the next four years. We are choosing a path for this country for an entire generation,” Ryan said.
"The United States can have a society of prosperity, or stick to a nation of debt, a welfare state of the debt crisis," the Republican candidate told the crowd.
“Obama didn’t change his tune, he didn’t moderate, he went far left. Now all he has left is to distort, divide and to distract this country and we’re not going to fall for it.”
The Miami University (Ohio) graduate told the audience, which included , the Republican nominee for the 37th state Senate district, and former U.S. Congresswoman Melissa Hart, “America is more than just a country. America is an idea.”
“Our rights, they come from nature and God, not from government,” Ryan said.
As the sounds of steel work echoed in the background, the crowd cheered and waved American flags—a child held a sign that read: “Kids 4 Ryan.”
The Wisconsin Congressman told his supporters it is “not too late to turn things around.”
“Here, with the commitment that Mitt Romney and I are making together, we will not govern tough issues, we will lead. We will unify and take responsibility—not blame others,” he said. “This is the most important election in your lifetime. It’s not too late to get it right.”
Ryan said when you encourage success, you get more of it, and that he is proud to stand with Romney who, he said, “is an honest leader.”
“There is no other system than the system of freedom,” he said.
Ryan said some of his “solutions” are to lower tax rates for everyone and create jobs.
“We teach our children that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead,” he said. “When you encourage success you get more of it.”
He also said there are four key qualities in a good leader: A bedrock of principles, a moral compass, a vision and the ability to execute that vision.
Ryan referenced a remark made by Obama in 2008 when he said that some frustrated voters “cling to their guns or religion.”
Ryan replied: "I’m a Catholic deer hunter and I’m happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion.” A loud cheer from the crowd ensued.
Ryan used Beaver Steel’s owner Tony Treser as an example of the “American Dream.”
“You’re here because you built this, not because the government did,” Ryan said to Treser. Speaking to the crowd on the skills of the country, he said: “We need more jobs so we can grow the (American) pie, so everyone can have a bigger slice.”
Proceeding Ryan’s speech were declarations from , Republican candidate for state treasurer; David Freed, who’s running for Pennsylvania attorney general; GOP Senate candidate Tom Smith; and Congressman , who is a “workout buddy” of the VP pick.
“We need to take the message from here to D.C.,” Murphy said. “We are truly the City of Champions. You’re here because you love this country.
“There is no quit in Pittsburgh and no quit in the U.S.”
Murphy referred to his friend, Ryan, as a “passionate, patient and patriotic man who is dedicated to his family and friendship.”
Nearby Ryan's rally, local Democratic elected officials, community leaders and union members held a press conference before Ryan's rally. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Labor Council President Jack Shea and Braddock Mayor John Fetterman discussed President Obama's record of creating American jobs and supporting the manufacturing industry. With them, about 40 protesters lined Arch Street, shouting "We are the 99 percent." One sign read: "Romney/Ryan plan: RIP Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security."
But the crowd at the Ryan gathering overshadowed them.
Supporter Ed Lawler, of Orlando, FL, traveled to Pittsburgh to hear Ryan speak. The Brooklyn native said he was “totally down and really hoping for a change.” He said his spirits changed when Romney announced Ryan as his choice.
“If I could design a slogan for the Romney/Ryan campaign, it would read: ‘For U.S. (US): Our Hope Is Changed.’”
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