GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan hosted fundraisers in Provo Wednesday evening with news presidential ticket leader Mitt Romney plans a Provo visit Sept. 18.
A crowd gathered at the Utah Valley Convention Center venue several hours before Ryan was scheduled to speak to save spots in the standing area and get a decent view of the vice presidential candidate.
At 7 p.m. Josh Romney, Mitt Romney’s third son, introduced Ryan and said, “The greatest country in the world is this country. … Obama doesn’t get that. My dad and I understand that America’s got it right.” He concluded by saying that Ryan will be a great vice president.
Ryan entered the stage to applause, whoops and chants of “Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!” from the crowd.
Ryan thanked the audience for supporting the Romney/Ryan ticket and commented on the large gathering of young people in the audience. “We basically have two futures ahead of us,” he said, “and you get to decide that.”
Ryan went on to praise Romney, saying that he is hard-working, a strong leader and a successful businessman. “By the way, being successful in business is a good thing,” he said.
Ryan promised that he and Romney would work to “fix this mess in Washington.”
“We’re going to solve problems,” he said. “We’re going to take responsibility, and we will not transform this country into something it was never meant to be.”
Ryan concluded his speech saying, “The government works for us; we don’t work for the government.” He then thanked the crowd and exited the stage to more chants of “Ryan! Ryan!” before shaking hands with some in the crowd.
The speech at a $1,000-per-person reception followed a $25,000-per-plate fundraising dinner. A Facebook promotion invited students to attend the speech for $20 apiece. Among the students were BYU graduate students Nikki and Scott Maughan. “I appreciate his comment that the source of human rights doesn’t come from the government,” Scott said. “It comes from family.”
BYU sophomore Jordyn Darling said she was excited she was able to attend this event. “I wanted to be here because I love hearing what politicians have to say, because I want to be an informed voter,” she said. “I’m so glad I was able to hear Paul Ryan’s words in person.”
Four Ron Paul supporters picketed outside of the convention center, Timothy McGaffin, II holding a sign that read: “Mormons for Ron Paul.”
“Romney and Ryan aren’t true conservatives,” McGaffin said, making references to interpretations of the Constitution. “There’s no need for adaptation. If we follow the constitution, exactly what it says, then our freedoms will be preserved,” he said, “I’m going to be writing in Ron Paul’s name on the ballot this year.”
The campaign has not yet detailed Romney’s Sept. 18 visit.