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Ryan accepts GOP VP nomination - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Ryan accepts GOP VP nomination

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 Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan formally accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination Wednesday as the party sought to refocus its campaign on big ideas during the second night of its national convention, deploying Ryan and other GOP heavyweights to make a broad appeal to independents.

Ryan, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez received rock-star welcomes from delegates here in Tampa in speeches extolling nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney and the virtues of leadership.

"When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, 'Let's get this done,'" Ryan said in his speech formally accepting the party's vice presidential nomination. "And that is exactly what we're going to do."

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan waves during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Aug. 29, 2012.

Ryan's speech, arguably the most important of his political career, leveled an indictment of President Barack Obama on taxes, entitlement and energy while acclaiming Romney as a decisive leader and the best-suited candidate to lead a turnaround in the economy.

"These past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House," he said. "What's missing is leadership in the White House!"

he Wisconsin congressman's speech led a primetime lineup directed toward accentuating the GOP as a party of principle and opportunity.

Rice, the former top diplomat for President George W. Bush (who was the subject of a tribute earlier in the evening, along with his father, President George H.W. Bush), weaved together her personal narrative about overcoming segregation and other barriers into a case for American Exceptionalism. Her reflection about overcoming Jim Crow laws to become secretary of State proved to be one of the evening's most emotional moments.

"The essence of America -- that which really unites us -- is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion," she said. "It is an idea, and what an idea it is:  That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.  That it doesn't matter where you came from but where you are going."

That speech shared many themes with Martinez's, a speech sandwiched between Rice and Ryan's that included overtures to women and Latinos, and one which told the story of her own conversion from the Democratic Party to the GOP.

She downplayed political parties, and kept with a theme emphasizing the primacy of solutions over politics.

"This election should not be about political parties. Too many Americans are out of work, and our debt is out of control. This election needs to be about those issues," Martinez said. "And it is the responsibility of both parties to offer up real solutions and have an honest debate."

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