Ryan strikes populist tone in Virginia
(CBS News) GLEN ALLEN, Va. - Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan adopted a populist tone on Friday as accused big government and big business of trying to "rig the rules" against the middle class.
"It's the people who are politically connected, it's the people who have access to Washington that get the breaks. Well, no more," Ryan told an enthusiastic crowd of over 2,000 at a high school gym in central Virginia. "We don't want to pick winners and loses in Washington, we want you to keep more of your own hard-earned dollars. Hardworking taxpayers should be treated fairly and it should be based on whether they're good, whether they work hard and not who they know in Washington. That's entrepreneurialism. That's free enterprise."
While presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney frequently blasts the administration for its failed investment in the solar energy company Solyndra, it's more often to suggest that the president doesn't understand free enterprise.
Ryan took that message in a different direction by suggesting collusion between big business and big government - an argument more often made by Democrats, who blame deregulation for the economic crisis.
(Watch: Ryan says Obama is the "most partisan" president he's seen.)
His rhetoric also was similar to that used by Romney's rivals in the Republican primary, such as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Romney has shown little inclination to impose further regulation on Wall Street, suggesting that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law merely hurt community banks.
Ryan was in full-throated attack mode at the event as he laid the blame for gridlock and division in Washington at the president's feet.
"I've served with three presidents since I have been in Congress. This is the most partisan atmosphere I have ever seen. This is not uniting, this is dividing," Ryan said, as he praised Romney for working with a Democratic legislature as governor of Massachusetts.
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