WASHINGTON — The keynote speaker for this morning's opening event at the American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C., was Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s former running mate, who has proposed changes to Medicare.
Here are excerpts from his talk. Friday's Trade Only Today will include a full report.
“The election didn’t go exactly how we planned. We are trying to figure out now how to make a divided government work.”
“I was up in northern Wisconsin last weekend, and the ice was still 20 inches on the lakes. Global warming? I tell you.”
On debt spending and deficits: “We have to spend less money. We’re spending money we don’t have. We’ll have a debt crisis like Europe if we keep going down this path.”
Ryan said people won’t go out and buy a bass boat with the debt and deficit problems we have.
On the impact of grassroots lobbying, such as what is taking place at ABC this week: “If you don’t come up here and talk about your business and boating … no one will know your story.”
Ryan said there is a body of water within a mile of everyone in Wisconsin. It’s part of “our culture.” But getting out on the water requires discretionary income.
On bipartisanship: “The question is, will the White House allow a more centrist agenda to occur? I just don’t know the answer to that.”
In response to a question about Asian carp and combating invasive species in the Great Lakes: “This is a serious threat to our Great Lakes ecosystem. What I’m told is the [electric barrier] fence isn’t enough. This isn’t a partisan thing.”
On President Obama’s health care law: “You ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s a real fiasco. It’s a train wreck. You’re in a tight-margin business, and it’s competitive. … What we see happening is an implosion of the employee-based health care system.”
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Here are excerpts from others who spoke this morning.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who owns a 54-foot Sea Ray:
“I love boating. I’m from a mountain state, West Virginia. Who would think?”
“I grew up on boats. My grandfather owned boats. Boating keeps you together. When I’m not boating I’m thinking about them.”
On ethanol in gasoline, which he has voted against: “This is crazy. Using food products to produce fuel. It doesn’t make sense.”
On bipartisanship, Manchin said he makes sure to take crew from both sides of the aisle when he heads out on his boat: “I’ve said I will not be held hostage by guilt by conversation.”
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Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation president Frank Peterson:
“Fishing from a boat is at the highest level it’s been in eight years.”
“Only two of 50 states let you buy a license with a mobile device.”
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Mercury Marine president and NMMA board chairman Mark Schwabero:
“We’re not here as the NMMA alone, but as a very unified marine organization. I look forward to the coming years, when the voice gets even stronger.”
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NMMA president Thom Dammrich:
“We are an ecosystem. Anything that affects one segment ultimately will affect us all. That’s why it’s important we come together with one voice on issues that affect our industry.”
-- William Sisson