Paul Ryan's convention speech: Did he pass his big test?

Republicans loved their VP nominee's robust defense of shrinking government; Democrats and fact-checkers are banging their heads against the wall

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) accepted his party's nomination for vice president on Wednesday night, electrifying the delegates and politicians in attendance, but perhaps not doing much for his pot
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) accepted his party's vice presidential nomination Wednesday night with an audience-rousing speech that focused on fiscal issues, his hometown of Janesville, Wis., and tearing down President Obama's record. (Watch a clip below.) The speech steers clear of social issues and policy specifics, but it has some eminently quotable zingers, some pretty notable whoppers, and some stern talk on the need to tackle the "tough issues" like the national debt and Medicare insolvency. "I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old," said Ryan, who, at 42, is the first member of Generation X on a national ticket. But while his big debut on the national stage juiced up the delegates and GOP officials at the Republican National Convention, did Ryan accomplish what he needed to for the Mitt Romney campaign, and himself?

Ryan delivered a masterpiece: "Wow," says Jim Geraghty at National Review. Ryan's speech was so effective, delivered with such warmth and amazing sense of connection, it "almost unnerved me." The delegates in the room "were going nuts," and my exploding Twitter feed signaled Ryan was connecting via the TV, too. "Conversational, direct, funny, detailed" — this speech was downright "Reaganesque." And the praise doesn't come any higher than that.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us