Paul Ryan had the job of presiding over the convention that formally nominated Donald Trump for president on Tuesday night, but he barely mentioned the nominee in his formal address to the crowd at the RNC.
Ryan uttered Trump's name just twice during his remarks, first when he agreed to attend a Trump State of the Union speech if the nominee were elected and second when he acknowledged that a Trump-Pence White House would offer America "a chance at a better way."
He made a veiled reference to the battle for the nomination and his own disagreements with Trump that have come up during the primary process.
"Democracy is a series of choices. We Republicans have made ours," Ryan said. "Have we had our arguments this year? Sure we have –- and you know what I call those? Signs of life. Signs of a party that's not just going through the motions. Not just mouthing new words for the same old stuff."
While Ryan endorsed Trump and has called for the party to rally behind the nominee, he still occasionally voices his displeasure with the billionaire's brash style. On the opening day of the convention he told the Wall Street Journal Trump is "not my kind of conservative."
But the House Speaker focused much of his speech on his own visions for the country and why President Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have not and would not move the country toward economic progress and liberty.
"For a country so ready for change, it feels like we had been cleared for takeoff, and then somebody announced we're all going back to the gate," he said.
"The Obama years are almost over," he added. "The Clinton years are way over. Two-thousand sixteen is the year America moves on."
"We believe in making government, as Ronald Reagan said, not the distributor of gifts and privilege, but once again the protector of our liberties."
"Progressives deliver everything except progress," he said to cheers from the audience, before championing the ways in which the Republican Party is the party of ideas and alternative approaches.
See the reaction to Ryan's speech:
He also shared his thoughts on poverty, an issue he often champions.
"[W]e offer a better way of dealing with persistent poverty in this country: A way that shows poor Americans the world beyond liberal warehousing and checkwriting -- into the life everyone can find, with opportunity and independence, the happiness of using your gifts, and the dignity of having a job," he said.
Ryan also echoed one of the sentiments Melania Trump spoke of in her speech on Monday night, the importance of being the party of inclusion.
"In America, aren't we all supposed to see beyond class, or ethnicity, or all those other lines drawn to set us apart and lock us in groups?" he asked.
"Everyone is equal. Everyone has a place. No one is written off, because there is worth and goodness in every life," he added. "Straight from the Declaration of Independence, that is the Republican ideal – and if we won't defend it, who will?"
But while his support for Trump was tepid, it was his call for unity within the party that drew the loudest and fiercest reaction from the Republican crowd.
"Fellow Republicans, what we have begun here, let's see it through," he said to rousing cheers. "Let's win this thing. Let's show America our best and nothing less."
Watch Ryan's entire speech below:
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