Seizing the Republican National Convention spotlight, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan welcomed “the calling of my generation” to help lead the country in tough times Wednesday night and pledged that Mitt Romney will not duck the difficult decisions needed to repair the economy if he gains the White House this fall.

“After four years of getting the runaround, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney,” the 42-year-old Wisconsin lawmaker told cheering delegates in a packed hall and a prime time television audience at home. He spoke at a convention dogged by Tropical Storm Isaac, downgraded from a hurricane but still inflicting misery on millions along the nearby northern Gulf Coast.

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“We will not duck the tough issues; we will lead,” Ryan said, adding that President Barack Obama and the Democrats “have run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division is all they’ve got left.”

To the cheers of the delegates, he pledged Republicans would save Medicare from looming bankruptcy, despite constant accusations from Democrats that the GOP approach would shred the program that provides health care to more than 30 million seniors.

“Our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate,” Ryan declared. But he offered no details of the remedy Republicans would propose.