By Jonathan Easley -The Hill
CHARLOTTE, N.C., â€” Paul Ryan compared President Obama’s economic record to Jimmy Carter’s on Monday, saying neither president improved people’s lives.
â€œEvery president since the great depression could run on a record saying you are better off than you were four years ago,â€ Ryan said. â€œExcept for Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.â€
The Republican vice presidential nominee was in Greenville, N.C., only 230 miles from where Democrats are holding their national convention.
He repeatedly looked to tie Obama to the one-term Democratic president, who has become a frequent touchstone for Republicans in this campaign cycle.
Carter will speak to Democratic delegates via satellite on Tuesday, the first day of the convention.
Ryan said in 1980, under the Carter administration, 330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy, compared to 1.4 million in 2011 â€œunder President Obamaâ€™s failed leadership,â€ and that mortgage delinquencies have ballooned from 77,000 to 3 million over the same time period.
â€œSimply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are now,â€ Ryan said.
But whether he was touting Mitt Romneyâ€™s record as a governor, or going through the Romney campaignâ€™s five point economic plan, Ryan continuously returned to the â€œare you better off message.â€
â€œWeâ€™re going to hear a lot of words from Charlotte,â€ he continued. â€œWeâ€™re not going to hear evidence and facts about how people are better off.â€
â€œThe president cannot tell you that youâ€™re better off,â€ Ryan added. â€œAnd if we want to improve things, then how would rehiring the same administration do that? It wouldnâ€™t.â€
Republicans are pushing the “better off” message this week as Democrats gather to re-anoint Obama as their nominee.
Obamaâ€™s senior surrogates on Monday were pushing the message that Americans are better off, but it was a reactive response to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malleyâ€™s (D) fumbling of the question Sunday on â€œFace the Nation.â€
â€œNo,â€ replied Oâ€™Malley, a prominent Obama surrogate, when asked if people were better off today than they were four years ago, â€œbut thatâ€™s not the question of this election.â€
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