Paul Ryan is Romney’s pick for vice presidential nominee
NORFOLK — Mitt Romney has selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidental running mate and will make the long-awaited announcement here Saturday morning.
Romney’s campaign formally alerted supporters at 7 a.m. via an iPhone app that the seven-term congressman would be the Republican vice presidential nominee. Minutes later, the campaign sent out a release calling the Romney and Ryan “America’s comeback team.”
By selecting Ryan, Romney has made a potentially bold but risky move to reset the dynamics of the presidential election. He has chosen the intellectual heart of the movement within the GOP to slash deficits and signals a desire to place the nation’s looming fiscal challenges at the center of the campaign’s final months.
Romney will formally introduce Ryan as his new partner at a rally in the key swing state of Virginia--appearing with the congressman on the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, a not-so-subtle nod to the pick.
Already, the campaign has unveiled a new Web site www.RomneyRyan.comredirecting readers to the Romney campaign’s home page.
By selecting the Wisconsin wonk and seven-term congressman, Romney offers voters the starkest possible choice on how to address issues of spending and taxing by embracing Ryan’s single-minded focus on reducing the nation’s debt without raising taxes by dramatically altering Americans’ relationship to their government.
It is a fight Democrats have savored, believing the details of Ryan’s budget will turn off voters and persuade them that Democrats offer a fairer path to reduced deficits through a combination of spending cuts and higher taxes on the wealthy.
Ryan’s plan to overhaul Medicare is particularly controversial and will now play a key role in critical swing states with large retiree populations, most notably Florida, where Romney and Ryan are scheduled to campaign on Monday.
While Romney’s pick does not replicate the surprise jolt of Arizona Sen. John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin four years ago, Ryan is nonetheless a splashier pick than several other contenders considered safer options.
Two others who were high on Romney’s short list of VP contenders — former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman — were informed in recent days that they would not be on the ticket, according to two Republican sources. Both were scheduled for other events on Saturday.
Ryan will likely energize a GOP base that sought a campaign with a clear vision for the country and not just one focused on criticizing President Obama.
Ryan got a strong boost over the past few days from conservatives, with editorials pushing his candidacy in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard and the National Review.
But the pick could offer Democrats a boost as well, allowing them to fully link Romney to a Ryan spending plan they are convinced is deeply unpopular. It could also focus attention on government spending at the expense of discussion about how to jump-start the economy.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, it fell to Ryan to convert the new GOP majority’s government-cutting promises into a detailed legislative blueprint following the 2010 midterm election.
The result was Ryan's “Path to Prosperity,” versions of which were adopted by the GOP House in 2011 and 2012. The plans call for balancing the budget by 2040 through deep cuts to virtually every social program, from Medicaid to food stamps to Pell Grants.
Ryan has proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and capping spending on those who turn 65 after 2023. In the future, seniors would be offered a set amount with which to purchase private health insurance on newly created federal exchanges.
Democrats charge the plan would essentially end Medicare by turning it into a voucher program. Ryan counters it would save the popular program by altering its unsustainble growth rate.
For many voters unfamiliar with the debate, Ryan will likely start out as an unknown. According to recent polls, reviews of Ryan tilt positive in Wisconsin and nationally, but not overwhelmingly so.
And large numbers, even in his home state don’t know enough about him to rate him favorably or unfavorably. In a CNN poll this week, Rubio was the top pick for No. 2 among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, followed by Ryan and Christie tied at 16 percent.
A 42-year old ice fishing and fitness enthusiast, Ryan could use his boyish charm to offer digs at Obama not weighted with negativity.
Yet, after beginning his career as a congressional staffer, Ryan is also a creature of the deeply unpopular institution. His ability to campaign in the glare of the national spotlight remains untested.
First question: after years of saying we need a Prez with executive experience, why would Romney pick Ryan, who has zero executive experience?
EDIT (11/7/2012): Did anyone see a lot of Paul Ryan after that debate? It was kind of easy to forget about him. So much for that game changing pick that would make the campaign be about big ideas.
This is probably the best source I found to track the results:
Thanks for playing! Nice job voting/dissuading others from voting!
Edited by IRHari, 07 November 2012 - 05:09 AM.
updated for electionday