August 11, 2012
Paul Ryan - A Excellent Choice!
Updated with video and quotes
This morning it was announced that Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) would be Mitt Romney's running mate, and I think it was an excellent choice.
More below the fold, but in short Ryan brings controlled energy to the campaign, both energizing the base and interesting independents. His knowledge of the federal budget and the issue of jobs is encyclopedic. Contrary to what liberals will tell us, he is hardy an extremist.
Lucky me, the Romney-Ryan team held a rally this afternoon in Manassas VA, just an hour or so from where I live. I joined a few dozen other conservative activists who got on a bus from one of our Victory Offices and headed down there.
The crowds were huge, we didn't leave as early as I would have liked, and I as among the several hundred who weren't able to get into the arena ;-( Fortunately they had large LED screens outside where we could watch the action. The picture above is one of them at the event that I found on the internet. The ones below the fold are what I actually saw:
Actually the TV looked a lot better than what you see here. The lines must have something to do with the scanning rate.
From the Loudoun Times-Mirror, here are some excerpts from Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney's remarks:
"You deserve to decide what kind of country we're going to have,what kind of people we're going to be,"
"When a young person makes the honor roll, I know he took a school bus to get to the school, but I don't give the bus driver credit for the honor roll,"
"Our rights did not come from the government, our rights came from the Creator."
The like about the bus driver and the students is of course a response to Obama's ridiculous "you didn't build that."
I've already seen the spin from some liberals that Romney should have picked someone like Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) because he is oh-so-nice, and one one of those nasty extremists. The reality is that they say this because they know Portman is a milquetoast who would be no threat to them.
Paul Ryan, on the other hand will take the fight to Obama and will utterly destroy that clown Biden in their debate. He will also make mincemeat of dopes in the media like Chris Matthews. He knows the federal budget and economic issues backwards and forwards. This is what Democrats fear most; a discussion of the actual issues that Americans care about.
Paul Ryan has an actual plan, the "Roadmap for America's Future." It's smart, specific, and factual. All Obama and Biden have to offer is fear, division, and doubt.
Otherwise, John Fund does an excellent job of summing up why Ryan is an excellent choice:
Smart Democrats Should Be Worried
By John Fund
August 11, 2012 11:21 A.M.
Liberal pundits are already fanning out in force to attack and discredit Paul Ryan. Michael Tomasky, who recently wrote a Newsweek cover story calling Mitt Romney a "wimp," has now decided that Romney's bold move is "a terrible choice" because Ryan has proven himself to be an extremist on budget issues.
No doubt there are many Democrats rubbing their hands in glee in contemplation of reviving some version of the ad that featured an actor playing Paul Ryan pushing a grandmother in a wheelchair off a cliff. But the smarter ones are worried.
First, if Ryan is an extremist and his proposals are so unpopular, how has he won election seven times in a Democratic district? His lowest share of the vote was 57 percent -- in his first race. He routinely wins over two-thirds of the vote. When Obama swept the nation in 2008, he carried Ryan's district by four points. But at the same time, Ryan won reelection with 65 percent of the vote, meaning that a fifth of Obama voters also voted for him.
Ryan has pointed out to me that no Republican has carried his district for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984. "I have held hundreds of town-hall meetings in my district explaining why we have to take bold reform steps, and I've found treating people like adults works," he told me. "All those ads pushing elderly woman off the cliffs don't work anymore if you lay out the problem."
Second, Democrats know that Ryan has Reaganesque qualities that make him appealing to independent, middle-class voters. Take the cover story on Ryan that the Isthmus, a radically left-wing Madison, Wis. newspaper, ran on him in 2009. "Ryan, with his sunny disposition and choirboy looks, projects compassion and forcefully proclaims dedication to his district," the story reported. "And he's proved he is not unyieldingly pro-corporate, as when he recently joined in condemnation of AIG 'retention' bonuses."
Third, Ryan's ideas aren't that novel or scary. The idea of "premium support" for Medicare, which would change the program's one-size-fits-all policy to a private-insurance model with public options, was endorsed by a bipartisan commission appointed by Bill Clinton back in the 1990s. Late last year, Ryan announced a new version of his proposal with a new partner signing on: Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who first achieved political prominence as an advocate for seniors.
Four, Ryan puts Wisconsin and its ten electoral votes in play. Polls have shown that President Obama holds a five to seven point lead in Wisconsin -- significant, but much less than Obama's 14-point margin in 2008. With Ryan on the ticket, polls show the race is dead even.
Five, if Republicans were looking for a superior candidate, they've found it in Ryan. His maiden speech as the GOP vice-presidential candidate was perfectly pitched:We won't duck the tough issues . . . we will lead!
We won't blame others...we will take responsibility!
We won't replace our founding principles . . . we will reapply them!
Echoes of Ronald Reagan at his best.
Ryan was judged to have already had the better of President Obama in televised exchanges on Obamacare. His debate with Joe Biden this October might well be remembered as cruel and unusual punishment for dim vice presidents. Recall that Sarah Palin fought a much more engaged Joe Biden to a draw in their 2008 vice-presidential debate.
Six, as Democratic consultant Joe Trippi acknowledged today on Fox News, Ryan will bring in a flood of donations from overjoyed conservatives and tea-party members. Romney had a problem with energizing the GOP base. That problem is now solved, and that will make it easier to pump up conservative turnout.
Democrats will no doubt try to make Paul Ryan into a younger version of the devil they've tried to paint Mitt Romney as. But they should worry about fighting a campaign on fundamental issues in a weak economy. That's precisely how Jimmy Carter, the last Democratic president to run for reelection during hard times, wound up losing so badly that it not only cost Democrats control of the U.S. Senate but damaging the liberal brand for years afterwards.
Posted by Tom at August 11, 2012 9:00 PM
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Ryan is an excellent choice and I do hope it's a gamechanger for this election.
It's also a comforting choice in that it signals that Romney is serious about reforming the way government works and will not be just more of the same if elected.
I'm glad you were able to attend the event even though you couldn't get the best spot to participate. It's heartening to know that Romney/Ryan is drawing such crowds and creating enthusiasm.
Posted by: Mike's America at August 12, 2012 1:29 AM
I do not understand the cheers for this RINO. Maybe I'm wrong but did not Ryan vote for TARP? Did he not push for amnesty? Didn't he vote for Bush's spendarama?
Is he not the architect of the budget agreement that will see our military gutted in January? Didn't he head the GOP's budget team that caved to Obama's ruinous spending programs?
So why the enthusiasm? Am I getting this wrong or is the cheering for another big spending, establishment RINO who will not cut any government agencies or programs? If I am wrong what agencies would this man eliminate?
West, Bachman, and a host of other Republican conservatives are far better than Ryan.
Once again I find myself having to select from the devil I know and the devil I don't.
Posted by: Veritas at August 14, 2012 8:03 PM
Thank you for stopping by, Veritas. I hope you do so again. I like having commenters from across the spectrum.
The insistence on purity is the death-knell of any campaign.
Reps West and Bachman are too extreme to be elected to anything other than a congressional district. They'd sink Romney in a heartbeat. I like them, don't get me wrong, and my ideology is close to theirs. But I'm also a realist, which is what separates me from you.
Posted by: The Redhunter at August 14, 2012 8:19 PM
Gosh, if Ryan is a RINO then I better forget I ever worked for Ronald Reagan and John Ashbrook and take up my place at the RINO exhibit at the Zoo.
Ryan has a 91% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. That's pretty damn good especially for a Congressman representing a district that voted for Obama, Gore, Clinton etc.
Posted by: Mike's America at August 16, 2012 9:44 PM