CLEVELAND, July 19 (UPI) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan offered an upbeat assessment of the presidential campaign and the Republican ideals of less government and more individual liberty during the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.
Ryan, the party's 2012 vice presidential nominee, also criticized Democrats for economic stagnation, casting the 2016 campaign as another "contest of ideas" that, unlike four years ago, will favor Republicans because voters are more in agreement for their desire to change the nation's course.
"The problem is very simple. There is a reason people in our country are disappointed and restless. If opportunity seems like it's been slipping away, that's because it has. And liberal progressive ideas have done nothing to help," Ryan said.
Ryan, who has pointedly clashed with nominee Donald Trump over both style and substance in the campaign, acknowledged the primary process was a rough one, but rallied the party to unity to elected a "conservative governing majority" to counter eight years of a Democrat in the White House.
"It's the last chapter of an old story. Progressives deliver everything, except progress. Yet we know better than most, we know better than to think Republicans can win only based on the failure of Democrats," Ryan said. "It still comes down to a contest of ideas, which is really good news ... when it's about ideas the advantage goes to us. The Republican party stands as the great alternative party."
Ryan concluded with a call to arms for Republican delegates that drew sustained applause.
"In the plainest terms I know, it is all on the line, so let's act that way," he said. "What do you say that we unify this party, at this crucial moment when party unity is everything?"