Paul Ryan's First Speech as Romney's Running Mate

Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's choice for vice president on the Republican ticket, gave his first speech in the role.

Ryan had an awkward start: Romney mistakenly introduced him as "the next president of the United States." Romney recovered by rejoining Ryan at the podium saying,

"Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake. I did not make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell you this: he's going to be the next vice president of the United States."

Coincidentially, in 2008, President Obama made the same mistake when introducing Joe Biden, his running mate at the time: "So let me introduce to you the next president-the next vice president of the US of America, Joe Biden." I guess they were both a little nervous.

Much of Ryan's speech touted Romney's qualifications for the job:

"And I believe there is no person in America who is better prepared-because of his experience, because of the principles he holds, and because of his achievements and excellence in so many different arenas-to lead America at this point in its history."

Predictably, he also criticized the Obama Administration:

"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 4 more years of this."

Read the Romney's and Ryan's speeches here.

Discussion Starters: 

  • What's your view of Ryan's speech? Which are the most and least effective parts?
  • How do you assess his delivery skills? What does he do successfully, and what should he work on leading up to the election?
  • In the excerpt of Ryan's speech, above, what rhetorical device does he use?