(CBS News) Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan took the spotlight at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night in Tampa, Fla., delivering a scathing critique of President Barack Obama's policies, saying at one point in his speech, "With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money - and he's pretty experienced at that."
It was a frontal assault on the president and his policies - the first direct assaults of the convention - and a message to disaffected voters that it doesn't have to be this way.
"If you're feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you," Ryan said.
It was a speech full of vivid images, with some aimed at a young generation. "College graduates should not have to live out their twenties in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life," Ryan said.
But he also delivered a message to seniors, defending his controversial Medicare reform proposals to offer seniors a voucher-like system for private insurance by pointing to the president's health care plan.
Ryan said, "An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn't even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we're going to stop it."
(On "CBS This Morning," CBS News' Jan Crawford, Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose discussed the impact and content of Ryan's speech and what Romney will strive to accomplish in his upcoming address. For all that and more, watch the video in the player below.)
Ryan actually supported similar reductions to cut the deficit before he joined the ticket, but Romney would not.
The speech also was Ryan's personal story as the father of three and the Wisconsin boy who mowed lawns and waited tables after, at age 16, his father died.
The vice presidential pick also managed to humanize Romney, making him seem like the responsible dad, by teasing him about his taste in music. He quipped, "There are the songs on his iPod, which I've heard on the campaign bus and I've heard it on many hotel elevators."
The Republican convention will end Thursday night as Mitt Romney accepts his party's presidential nomination.