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The last two Republican presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, appeared only in a nostalgic video tribute and joint interview that also aired Wednesday. Former vice presidents Dick Cheney and Dan Quayle were absent, though former Bush secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got an enthusiastic reception as she spoke about the need for robust national security policies.
However, the hall didn’t seem fully energized until Ryan appeared on stage. While Palin’s acceptance speech four years ago was full of defiance and emotion, Ryan’s was laced with economic policy and principles -- including a goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years -- and blasts at Obama’s leadership.
"College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life," he said at one point. At another: "None of us should have to settle for the best this administration offers."
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