Paul Ryan "We Can Do Better": Cheers, Jeers and Tweets

5 years ago

Paul Ryan headlined Wednesday night’s RNC program, “We Can Do Better”, capping off a night of speeches by many would-be VP candidates, including Rob Portman, Mike Huckabee, and Condoleeza Rice.

Continuing on the humble beginnings and hard work theme of yesterday night’s speeches, tonight’s speakers took a tough policy approach in contrast to last night’s inspirational presentations by Ann Romney and Chris Christie.

First the warm up… Huckabee identified himself as an Evangelical Christian, then called Obama’s Evangelical cred by associating him with gay marriage, abortion and government mandated healthcare. Then in a move that shocked speech watchers, referred to a conversation he had with rock star Bono:

Aug. 29, 2012 - Tampa, FL, USA - Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Wednesday, August 29, 2012. (Credit Image: © Harry E. Walker/MCT/

According to tweets, Condi’s prompter failed – or perhaps she chose not to load up her script -- but those of us at home couldn’t tell by her polished and hard-hitting speech on foreign policy:

Then, she moved on to civil rights, invoking both her Jim Crow childhood and calling education the civil rights issue of our day.

New Mexico Govenor Susana Martinez touted gun rights, referring to her own Smith and Wesson:

(Credit Image: © Harry E. Walker/MCT/

And then, the main attraction: Paul Ryan:

Some tweeters noted that Ryan lacked Rice’s measured confidence or Martinez’s conversational demeanor:

After telling the requisite stories about his small town upbringing and the premature death of his father and the cutaways to wife Janna and the three Ryan kids in the audience, Ryan opened up his real talking points. Just the mention of the word “Obamacare” incited boos from the floor:

However, journalists quickly jumped on Ryan's anecdotes -- including those about his bootstrapping after his father's weather and about factory closures... that actually were slated before President Obama took office.

Did you watch tonight's speeches? What do you think?

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs at HapaMama and A Year (Almost) Without Shopping.

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