Ohio lt. gov.: Ryan bold, smart choice


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor expected Mitt Romney to select Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman as his vice- presidential running mate, but said U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is a “bold” and “smart” choice.

Taylor, co-chairwoman of Ohio Women for Mitt, says Ryan is “the type of individual Mitt Romney is expected to surround himself with — smart people willing to be honest and tell the facts, but also ... [with] enough leadership and enough experience to offer solutions.”

Taylor spoke Monday to about 70 women at Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters, which is also the county’s Romney Victory Center, in Boardman.

Ryan “plays well” in Ohio, a key swing state in the presidential election, as his government-reform proposals are similar to what’s been done in the state, Taylor said.

There are plenty of Ohioans who can say they’re doing better financially now than two years ago, but it’s not because of President Barack Obama, a Democrat, said Taylor, a Republican.

It’s “because of what Gov. [John] Kasich and I are doing, not because of what President Obama is doing,” she said.

Taylor added that Obama is campaigning in Ohio “to convince you that you’re better off because of him and we know it’s not true.”

When asked later by The Vindicator if Obama has done nothing to help the state’s economy, Taylor said, “Clearly, we’re pleased auto manufacturing is doing OK in Ohio.”

In response, Jessica Kershaw, an Obama campaign spokeswoman, said, “Both Kasich and Romney turned their backs on the auto industry.”

She added, “The president stepped in to save the auto industry, investing in manufacturing, cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses. Republicans trying to claim credit for the recovery in Ohio is both laughable and ironic.”

Portman was considered by Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, as a vice-presidential running mate. Taylor said Monday that she thought Portman was going to be selected.

Taylor said she isn’t disappointed Portman wasn’t chosen, and is pleased Romney’s selected of Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Ryan worked for Kasich when the Republican governor was chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Kasich will be one of the headline speakers at the Republican National Convention in Tampa from Aug. 27 to 30.

Kasich is expected to speak Aug. 28, and will likely discuss Ohio’s economy.

Taylor said Monday that if Romney wins the Nov. 6 general election, she doesn’t see Kasich resigning as governor to join the administration, and expects him to seek re-election in 2014.

“He’s committed to Ohio,” Taylor said when asked by the newspaper about Kasich.

“It’s a commitment he made. I know things are getting back on track in Ohio.”

As for her political future, Taylor said she and Kasich haven’t discussed it.

If running for lieutenant governor in two years is “the right decision for us and for Ohio, then I’ll be prepared to do that. ... I have no reason to believe that wouldn’t be the case.”

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