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Ryan: Obama 'can't tell you that you are better off'

In Charlotte, Democrats are poised to insist that their economic vision is better for America than that outlined by Mitt Romney; they insist the country is better off than it was four years ago. NBC's Chuck Todd reports.


GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Just across the state from where the Democratic National Convention is set to begin tomorrow, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan warned North Carolinians not to believe what President Obama says in Charlotte. 

“Let me quote President Obama four years ago: ‘If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.’ Ladies and gentleman, that is exactly what Barack Obama is doing today. You see, the president has no record to run on,” Ryan said here on the campus of East Carolina University. “In fact, every president since the Great Depression who asked Americans to send them into a second term, could say that you are better off today than you were four years ago -- except for Jimmy Carter and for President Barack Obama.” 

The Wisconsin congressman added, “So when you take a look at what we are going to hear in Charlotte today, the president can say a lot of things, and he will. But he can’t tell you that you are better off. Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are right now.” 

The GOP is in a full-force bracketing effort down in the Tar Heel state asking “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”  

Vice President Joe Biden was originally planning on bracketing the RNC convention in Tampa, Fla., last week, but his plans were canceled after the threat of Hurricane Issac. 

Ryan urged the couple thousand people in Greenville who turned out on Labor Day to hear him speak not to fall for the Democrats' message in November. 

“We’re going to hear a lot of words from Charlotte this week. But here’s the kind of words we’re not gonna hear: We’re not going to hear evidence and facts about how people are better off. You see ,the president cannot run on this record. He’s run out of ideas,” he said. “And so that is why he’s going to be running a campaign based on envy and division, based on frustration and anger. Hope and change has now become attack and blame.” 

A new Elon University poll released Monday, finds Mitt Romney has a slight lead in North Carolina with 47% supporting him compared with 43% backing Obama. The Republican VP nominee says this state could make the difference on Nov. 6. 

“Friends, North Carolina is crucial. Eastern North Carolina is crucial. This is one of those kinds of elections where a handful of states might make the determination not just of who your next governor is going to be or just who your next president is going to be but what kind of land your kids will inherit,” Ryan said inside ECU’s student recreation center. “This is it and we can do this.”