Mitt channeling Paul: We are going to talk about aspirations and American ideals

by Ryan Streeter on August 11, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Mitt Romney said today, “We are going to talk about aspirations and American ideals,” as he introduced Paul Ryan as his running mate.

That’s Mitt Romney channeling his new running mate. I’ve noted in the past that Paul Ryan, along with Mitch Daniels, is the leading voice on the right for the notion of upward mobility and recovering a sense of aspiration in America.

Here’s Ryan nearly a year ago, in September 2011:

The president is using rhetoric that divides people, that preys on people’s sense of anxiety, fear, envy. What we’re trying to do is appeal to people’s sense of hope, aspiration. We want an equal- opportunity society. We want a society of upward mobility, and that is what we’re striving for. (emphasis added)

Ryan is no stranger to casting his view of policy in this way. For instance, see here and here.

He comes back to these themes a lot. Here he is on Kudlow earlier this year:

We want an upward mobility society. We don’t want a safety net that turns into a hammock that lulls people into dependency in this country. We want people to get up on their feet and grab that higher rung of the economic ladder. We believe in upward mobility. We don’t believe in class division. We believe in growth and prosperity, helping people when they are down on their luck get back on their feet, and pro-growth economic policies that put America in the lead, that make us competitive, that stop tearing people down in this zero-sum thinking. We reject it.

I had more to say about this a year ago here, where I noted that Mitch Daniels said that Ryan will “do whatever it takes to restore upward mobility in this country, to restore the conditions for a stable, broad middle class.”

Romney has long needed to connect his economic and fiscal policy proposals to a broader theme of opportunity, aspiration and upward mobility. Whether it was intentional on this point or not, his pick today will help him do that.