Editor’s note. The following are excerpts from the remarks of pro-life U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan made Tuesday night to the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Thank you all very much.
Delegates, friends, and fellow citizens: I appreciate the privilege of addressing this forty-first convention of the Party of Lincoln.
As part of my co-chairman duties, let me thank all the people of this beautiful city for looking after us this week. And above all I want to thank the men and women here from law enforcement for your service.
You know, standing up here again, it all has a familiar feel. Students of trivia will recall that last time around I was your nominee for vice president. It was a great honor, even if things didn’t work out quite according to plan.
But hey, I’m a positive guy. I’ve found other things to keep me busy. And I like to look at it this way. Next time there’s a State of the Union address, I don’t know where Joe Biden and Barack Obama will be. But you’ll find me right there on the rostrum with Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump.
Democracy is a series of choices. We Republicans have made ours.
Have we had our arguments this year? Sure we have – and you know what I call those? Signs of life. Signs of a party that’s not just going through the motions. Not just mouthing new words for the same old stuff.
Meanwhile, what choice has the other party made, in this incredible year filled with so many surprises?
Here we are, at a time when men and women in both parties so clearly, so undeniably, want a big change in direction for America, a clean break from a failed system. And what does the Democratic Party establishment offer? What is their idea of a clean break?
They are offering a third Obama term, brought to you by another Clinton. And we’re supposed to be excited about that? ….
Two-thousand sixteen is the year America moves on. …
Only with Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way. …
Real social progress is always a widening of the circle of concern and protection. It’s respect and empathy overtaking blindness and indifference. It’s understanding that by the true measure we are all neighbors and countrymen – called, each one of us, to know what is right and kind and just, and to go and do likewise.
Everyone is equal … everyone has a place … no one is written off, because there is worth and goodness in every life.
Straight from the Declaration of Independence, that is the Republican ideal – and if we won’t defend it, who will?
So much that you and I care about, so many things we stand for, are in the balance in the coming election. Whatever we lack going into this campaign, we should not lack for motivation. In the plainest terms I know, it is all on the line.
So let’s act that way. Let’s use the edge we have, because it is still what earns trust and votes. This year of surprises and dramatic turns can end in the finest possible way – when America elects a conservative governing majority.
We can do this, we can earn that mandate, if we don’t hold anything back, if we never lose sight of the stakes. Our candidates will be giving their all, their utmost, and every one of us has got to do the same.
So what do you say we unite this party, at this crucial moment when unity is everything?
Let’s take the fight to our opponents with better ideas – let’s get on the offensive and let’s stay there.
Let’s compete in every part of America, and turn out at the polls like every last vote matters, because it will.
Fellow Republicans, what we have begun here, let’s see it through … let’s win this thing … let’s show America our best and nothing less.
Thank you, and God bless.