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Ryan selection for GOP ticket sets clear choice

Published: Sun, August 12, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

WHAT LOCALS SAY: Ryan reaction


Associated Press


Mitt Romney’s pick of Rep. Paul Ryan for the Republican presidential ticket brings clarity to the stark election-year choice for voters — the competing Democratic and GOP visions about the size and role of the federal government in Americans’ lives.

Ryan is synonymous with his revolutionary budget that slashes spending for safety-net programs for the poor, remakes Medicare and cuts personal and corporate taxes while pushing the deficit down to a manageable level. It turns the tea-party dream of a scaled-back, less-involved government into hard-core reality.

“America is more than just a place ... it’s an idea. It’s the only country founded on an idea,” Ryan said Saturday in Virginia as Romney introduced his vice-presidential choice. “Our rights come from nature and God, not government. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.”

With Romney’s embrace of Ryan, it is now the Romney-Ryan budget and blueprint for the future.

President Barack Obama, who repeatedly talks up the November election as a profound choice for the country, has rejected the Ryan approach as “thinly veiled social Darwinism.” The Democrat and former community organizer sees government as a place with enough resources to help the less fortunate.

The Ryan budget, Obama said in April, “is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who’s willing to work for it; a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top but grows outward from the heart of the middle class.”

Roughly three months before the election, Romney’s choice clearly defines the fault lines and establishes the narrative for the election, one that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and tea partyers will echo in congressional and gubernatorial races. The outcome in November will have far-reaching implications for looming fiscal crises in the year’s final days.

On the grass-roots level, the selection of the 42-year-old Ryan, one of the House’s intellectual conservatives and Budget Committee chairman, energizes a GOP base wary of the Massachusetts governor and architect of the state’s health insurance program dubbed Romneycare.

Conservatives, from The Wall Street Journal editorial page to the rank and file, had been clamoring in recent days for Ryan. The timing of the announcement came as polls showed Obama with a narrow advantage and the number of undecided voters diminishing, underscoring the need for Romney to act fast.

“It’s absolutely fantastic,” Sal Russo, a longtime Republican operative and founder of the Tea Party Express, a well-funded wing of the populist movement, said in an interview. “He’s willing to go out there and tackle tough issues. The American people want somebody to make the tough choices.”

Russo said his organization had polled its 17,000 members, and Ryan and freshman Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida were the favorites for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket.

The conservative reward of Ryan also carries a significant political risk — and Democrats wasted no time in making it a top talking point.

The Ryan budget would scrap the current Medicare system that the nation’s seniors have enjoyed for decades in favor of a voucher program for those under 55 today. Starting in 10 years, the plan also calls for gradually raising the Medicare retirement age from 65 to 67.

Democrats immediately sounded the alarm about the implications of changing the popular entitlement program, a warning certain to resonate in battleground states such as Florida, Iowa and Pennsylvania — states with the heaviest concentration of those 65 and over.

“In selecting Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has crystalized the contrast of this election,” said Rod Smith, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party. “Ryan is the architect of Romney’s extreme budget plan which would end Medicare as we know it, increasing the health care costs for Florida’s seniors by thousands every year.”

The state’s Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who faces a stiff challenge in his bid for another term, quickly posted on Facebook.

“Romney VP pick bad for seniors. Signals an end to Medicare as we know it. My commitment to Medicare never stronger,” Nelson said.

Democrats are certain to replay past Republican criticism of the Ryan budget.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and one-time Republican presidential candidate, referred to Ryan’s plan to overhaul Medicare as “right-wing social engineering.” He later apologized.


1ohldepharte(25 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Intellectual Conservatives - now there's an oxymoron

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2chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I can only hope that the "real" Ryan visits the vally during the campaign. He is one smart young man.

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3NoBS(2758 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

So Donna Cassata, the AP writer who wrote this story, is pro-Romney. Glaringly. Doesn't anybody know how to write an impartial story any more?

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4stewie(109 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm thankful to Mr. Romney for selecting this 1st class douche bag as his running mate. This should leave no doubt as to the intentions of the republican party.
Especially for the seniors and middle class. I thank you Mr. Romney and President Obama thanks you for another four years to get this country moving forward.

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5redeye1(5611 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I can't wait to November when those that think they are entitled to all the free things get their eyes opened by a Romney and Ryan rout over BO and half brain JOE.. It will be good -bye to the free ride. Hello work or starve.

stewie He;s been lmost 4 yrs has done nothing what makes you think he will asa lame duck prez? He just in it for the free perks that he will get for next 4 Four more years .stewie , How is your chinese ?

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6jojuggie(1701 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Calling someone a douch bag when you don't even know that person is GUTTER TALK. I thought this message board was for honest debate.

In the last 3 weeks, I have visited Dennys, Bob Evans, Chillis, Ace Hwde & a flooring co. Every one, of these businesses said business was down. At Bob Evans, it was so warn in there the waitress said that business was down so the mgr said to turn down the AC 3 degrees.

400,000 people have given up their cable TV because they can't afford it.

McDonalds had a bad quarter.

150,000 retirees have had their S/S garnisheed because they co signed for their kids' college loans, and are in default.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

And you say MOVE FORWARD. What planet are you living on? Oh-OH here cames some Youngstown name calling.

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7greene(167 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

stewie, I think this country is what it is because of individual Liberty. What say you?

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8j2289(13 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Great pick. Ryan is a clear thinker. Don't be fooled by liberals that will scream Ryan's budget plan will do away with Medicare. those on Medicare now and those 55 years old and older, would see no changes under his plan. Read this webpage and watch the video on Ryan's budget plan: http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogs...

Get informed so you can defend Ryan's plan when your liberal friends distort his plan. NOV 6th: KICK OUT job killer not my fault FORWARD FAILURE OBAMA and all tax and spend politicians. Then replace nobamacare, pass mandatory national E-Verify to stop illegals from stealing jobs from Ohioans, pass voter ID to stop illegals from stealing votes from Ohioans.

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9jojuggie(1701 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

ohldep said that Paul Ryan being an intellectual & a conservative was a oxymoron. Well, tell you what ohldep - In Washington DC, political circles, Paul Ryan is known as an intellectual, and since he is a conservative, that blows your post.

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