Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan made the case that President Barack Obama’s agenda is hostile to the unified interests of economic conservatives and social conservatives at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit (VVS).
Thousands of socially-conservative voters gather every fall at VVS, organized by the Family Research Council and its president Tony Perkins, and sponsored by a range of conservative organizations including the Heritage Foundation, Liberty Counsel, Liberty University, and the political arm of the American Family Association.
Citing declining family incomes and persistently high unemployment alongside Obama’s 2008 promises to create millions of jobs and increase middle-class wealth, Ryan began: “Now he acts as if it’s unfair to measure his performance against his own words… If we renew the contract, we will get the same deal–with only one difference: In a second term, he will never answer to you again.”
Drawing a distinction between Obama’s vision of government with the philosophy of Governor Mitt Romney his own views, Ryan observed:
The president is given to lectures on all that we owe to government, as if anyone who opposes his reckless expansion of federal power is guilty of ingratitude and rank individualism. He treats private enterprise as little more than a revenue source for government. He views government as the redistributor and allocator of opportunity.
Contrasting Obama’s views with his and Mitt Romney’s, Ryan quoted his late boss Jack Kemp, who said, “No government in history has been able to do for people what they have been able to do for themselves, when they were free to follow their hopes and dreams.”
Ryan hit on all three issues regarded as Christian conservative priorities: religious liberty, traditional marriage, and abortion.
He spent most of his time on the third of these issues. Quoting one of Obama’s favorite slogans, Ryan said:
“We’re all in this together.” It has a nice ring. For everyone who loves this country, it is not only true but obvious. Yet how hollow it sounds coming from a politician who has never once lifted a hand to defend the most helpless and innocent of all human beings, the child waiting to be born.
Giving up any further pretense of moderation on this issue, and in complete disregard of millions of pro-life Democrats, President Obama has chosen to pander to the most extreme elements of his party.
After making an oblique swipe at Roe v. Wade by saying that questions on abortion should be made by elected representatives rather than federal judges (which is correct, because the Constitution is silent on abortion and it is by no means a constitutional right), Ryan declared, “We don’t write anyone off in America, especially those without a voice. Every child has a place and a purpose in this world. Everyone counts, and in a just society the law should stand on the side of life.”
Ryan was well received, as he concluded by contrasting that he and Romney embrace the Founders’ belief that rights come from God while the Democratic convention had a contentious floor flight on whether that idea should even be mentioned in their party’s platform.
Romney evidently made a good choice in Ryan as one who could rally the conservative base. November 6 will show whether it’s enough to remove Obama from the White House.
Breitbart News legal contributor Ken Klukowski is also senior fellow for religious liberty at the Family Research Council.