Reax to Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., as his vice-presidential running mate this morning in Norfolk, Va.

(I’m genuinely surprised; I was thinking it would be U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.)

Here are a few previous pieces on Ryan: reactions to his 2011 budget plan; a town-hall meeting at Facebook’s headquarters less than a year ago; and his speech at Stanford, during that same Bay Area visit, on repealing President Obama’s health care reform.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called Ryan “a reformer and a proven leader who will be a great partner to Governor Romney in his efforts to get our country, and our economy, back on track.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, today said Ryan “led House Republicans in voting to end the Medicare guarantee, which increases costs on seniors and weakens America’s great middle class in order to give tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. – who many people think lost the 2008 election the day he named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate – said Ryan “has proven that he is fully prepared to address our nation’s economic challenges, which have only worsened over the last four years under the Obama-Biden Administration.”

Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina said Ryan “proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors.”

Paul RyanFormer Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Ryan’s “command of economic policy and the federal budget will prove invaluable as Governor Romney fights to reform government, accelerate job growth and rein in the out-of-control spending that has been a hallmark of President Obama’s years in office. This courageous choice is the type of leadership American voters deserve. And, I believe it will ensure a victory for the Romney-Ryan ticket this November.”

Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green called Ryan “a right-wing extremist who wants to end Medicare. This is a major unforced error by Mitt Romney. It gives President Obama and Democrats a chance to draw a clear contrast in 2012 by promising not to cut one penny from Medicare or Social Security benefits. If Democrats win in a landslide, this was the game changer.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Truthclubber

    Let me be the first (literally!) to say, “God, I love it SO!”

    A true choice between moving forward as a humane society, where community is cherished, and moving backward toward a society like that in so many third world nations, where it’s everyone for themselves, and where social Darwinism reigns supreme and completely unchecked in a land of over 330 million people.

    Ryan won’t even help deliver Wisconsin, his shrill side is going to come out BIG TIME, and the independents and moderate Republicans are going to vote for Obammy in droves.

    A class warfare spin now accelerated by a generational warfare slingshot?


    Obammy 347, Mittster 191. Bank it at intrade.com and win big.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    This is a rallying point for sick elderly people, the jobless and the poor. Vote Obama as if your lives depended upon it.

  • Truthclubber

    @2 absolutely proves my point — let the games begin with the humans against the pointy-headed pencilpushers who work for Soylent Green!

  • Elwood

    But what does Bobbie Lee think?

  • Elwood

    “House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, today said Ryan “led House Republicans in voting to end the Medicare guarantee, which increases costs on seniors and weakens America’s great middle class in order to give tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”

    Evidence continues to pile up that Stretch is a delusional liar.

  • GV Haste

    Elwood, look I dislike Ryan, but don’t press your luck by quoting Nancy Pelosi.

  • Truthclubber

    I see a very bright future for Bain Capital’s next venture if Mittens and Paulie are elected this fall:

    “Soylent Green — helping to liquify the sick, elderly, jobless and poor since 2013!”

  • JohnW

    Dems shouldn’t do too much high-fiving over the Ryan pick. They did that when Reagan was nominated in 1980.

    Repubs will way outspend Dems after the conventions. Ryan will get the “base” out to vote. FL/OH/PA Voter ID laws will suppress elderly/student/minority turnout. All that, plus the global economic problems make this a big challenge for Obama, no matter what the current polls say.

  • JohnW

    This is a “no lose” deal for Ryan. He gets to stay on the Wisconsin ballot for his seat in Congress. So, the the VP thing doesn’t work out, he still has his committee leadership spot in the House.

  • For Liberty

    Truthclubber is correct, Obama will win! The tyrannical take over of Americans liberties from the executive branch will continue and will be set into high gear.


  • RR senile columnist

    Liberty is right, BHO is the forerunner of the Bolshevik
    Revolution, but he might be a Menshevik. It isn’t clear af this time.

  • JohnW

    “The tyrannical take over of Americans’ liberties from the executive branch will continue and will be set into high gear.”

    Gawd, I hope so. As a Democrat, that’s what I’ve always wanted. Liberty is so over-rated. If we can just get all the guns, send all opponents to Gitmo (sort of Red Dawn in reverse) and expropriate their wealth to pay for welfare, the vision will finally come true. Fear not though, once you have been appropriately indoctrinated, sworn your allegiance to the new order and received surgery to prevent reproduction, you’ll be given an opportunity to rejoin society.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    The Dems new slogan: If Romney dont kill ya then Ryan will.

  • JohnW

    I was thinking “Bain and Pain” Shamelessly plagiarized from some blogger.

    To be serious for a moment, Dems need to be careful how they approach the Medicare issue. Thinking people in both parties know that we have to reduce future spending on Medicare to avoid crowding out public investment in the future for education, basic scientific research and infrastructure. We can’t just say, “don’t touch it.” That doesn’t mean we have to buy into Ryan’s plan. If the cuts proposed by Ryan were used to free up resources and to pay down debt, that would be one thing. But they want it to go for even more tax cuts. Tax cuts that aren’t paid for or that prevent important public investment are just another form of spending.

  • JohnW

    Under the picture: “I’m genuinely surprised; I thought it would be U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)”:

    In hindsight, there were indications:

    Ryan took his family on a camping trip during the past week (a little breather before jumping into the fray).

    Romney always seemed likely to name somebody with D.C. experience. That pretty well narrowed it down to either Portman or Ryan.

    In the past few days, there was a noticeable groundswell of support for Ryan from conservative pols and pundits. According to Beth Myers (Romney’s Veep better), the decision was made more than a week ago, on August 1st. So, that groundswell of support for Ryan may not have been spontaneous.

  • JohnW

    Re Beth Myers:

    Make that “Romney’s Veep vetter,” not “Veep better.” Autocorrect is really annoying.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Unless the Romney camp picked Santa Claus or someone like him, the progressives would scream in protest until their mommies came to take them home. Of course, the actual choice of Santa would enrage atheists, anti-consumption radicals and other malcontents of the Left.

  • For Liberty

    John W.,

    Please remember to go easy on me as you escort me to the re-education camp/s!

  • JohnW


    For Liberty, can’t make any promises, as we will be outsourcing this process to our comrades in North Korea.

  • Elwood

    Romney’s choice of Ryan makes the issues clear cut for the voters:

    Do we want an ever larger nanny government, more and more social programs, higher taxes, higher deficits, higher debt and a debased currency?

    Or do we want to cut spending, lower taxes and lower the deficit and the debt?

    The public employee unions and the minority entitlement constituencies will of course continue to support the dimmiecrats so they can keep riding the gravy train.

    Everyone else, hang on to your wallet.

    “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” –Margaret Thatcher

  • JohnW

    Re #20

    Size, role and scope of the national government and fiscal responsibility are front and center in the campaign. However, indications are that the Romney tax proposal — 20% across the board tax cuts on top of the Bush tax cuts — would actually increase taxes on those with incomes below $200k. Also, the famous Ryan budget doesn’t do much to reduce deficits in our lifetimes, because it puts most of the savings from spending cuts into lower taxes.

  • JohnW

    Ryan has been in D.C. since age 22 and a member of the House for seven terms. I saw a report today (can’t vouch for the accuracy) that he has personally authored two pieces of legislation that actually were passed and signed into law.

    The first renamed a post office in his hometown in honor of Les Aspin. Aspin, a Democrat, formerly held Ryan’s House seat, was chairman of House Armed Services and served as Secretary of Defense under Clinton.

    The other legislation changed the excise tax charged on arrows (as in Bows and Arrows). Ryan is a bowhunter.

  • Elwood

    Well, of course my thinking on introducing bills has been influenced by the performance of the idiotic CA leg. where more than 2700 bills were introduced in the Assembly and more than 1600 in the Senate in 2011-12.

    I don’t believe that introducing bills is a criterion for measuring legislative performance. There must be another reason why Ryan has advanced through the leadership of the House Republicans.

    And then there’s Stretch. I don’t recall her introducing much legislation either.

  • Truthclubber

    @20 —

    It’s clear from your drug-distorted framing of the issues underpinning this election, and the facts as reported, that the following is true:

    Warren Buffett (inarguably a better capitalist than you) wants (in your own words) “an ever larger nanny government, more and more social programs, higher taxes, higher deficits, higher debt and a debased currency” — since Warren Buffett very vocally wants “O’bammy the Hafrican socialist treehugging gayloving Muslim” to win in a landslide.

    Go square THAT circle, idiot.

    O’bammy 347, Mittster 196.

    No one else on this blog has the conjones to post their own prediction on what the EV count will look like come November 6th, 2012 — and that tells me VOLUMES about what everyone else’s actual PQ (political IQ) really is…

  • JohnW

    Re: 23

    In the spirit of bipartisanship, I tend to agree with you that passing a bill with your name on it is only one measure of a legislator’s job performance.

    Ryan is a powerful committee chairman. But that’s not considered a leadership post, like Speaker, Majority/Minority Leader, Majority/Minority Whip.

    Who’s “Stretch?”

  • Elwood

    “Stretch” is the illustrious Nancy Pelosi’s nickname, inspired by the numerous face lifts she’s had.

    If they stretch her face any more, her eyebrows will be on the back of her neck.

    I thought everybody knew that.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Truthie, you flunk the college exam. There are 538 electoral votes.

  • Josh Richman

    @#24: Truthclubber – last chance.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Time for all good Dems to get in harness. Now turn to the left when the boss says Gee, turn to the right when he says Haw. Now Gee! now Haw!

  • JohnW

    Ryan “Roadmap” plan has major spending cuts and assumes significant economic growth but doesn’t balance the budget until 2030. Or is it 2040? Some of the cuts are not real cuts, in that they simply push spending from the federal government books onto the states — kind of like Jerry Brown’s prison plan.

    Seems like “Bain, Pain, No Gain!

  • Elwood

    BAIN = ‘Bama Always In Need of a pathetic attempt to attack Romney, ’cause he sure as hell can’t run on his record.

    The bleeding heart liberal lying MSM searches frantically for scraps of what might possibly be interpreted as good news, while evidence accumulates that the economy is in the toilet and circling the drain.

    No President has ever been re-elected with unemployment over 8%.

    Pray that history repeats itself.

  • Elwood

    “Treasury: U.S. to lose $25 billion on auto bailout”

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120813/AUTO01/208130392#ixzz23SXlq4ci

    And look, forum fans, it’s not CNS News, it’s the Detroit News!

  • John

    Apparently I’m supposed to be more angry about what Mitt Romney does with his money that with what Obama does with mine.

  • JohnW

    Re #33

    Depends on what you consider “his money” and “mine.”

    For the sake of discussion, let’s agree taxes are a necessary evil. Let’s also agree that “fair share” is undefinable and not go there.

    So, Mitt and you both make $20 million a year (taxable income after deductions). Congrats! You’re a big shot CEO and get paid in salary, bonus and gains from non-qualified stock options. So, your federal income taxes will be about $7 million.

    Mitt’s got a different gig. He’s part of the hedge fund/leveraged buyout/venture capital business. He rounds up money from other people and invests their money in deals. They pay him 2% of the amount invested regardless of whether the investment pays off or not. But his big income comes from being paid 20% of any profit generated from those deals. His company and others like it persuaded members of Congress to pretend that his 20% cut is a capital gain, even though none of his own money was invested. So, his tax bill is $3 million versus your $7 million. Gee, I wonder how they persuaded Congress!

    Now, if you consider the $4 million difference between what you pay and what Mitt pays to be “his money,” you’re a very understanding person. To me, it’s what the tax policy wonks call a “tax expenditure” or a loophole. It’s no different than if the government wrote Mitt a check for $4 million.

    I can’t define what constitutes “fair share,” or “fair tax rates.” But I’m pretty convinced that people with comparable incomes should pay comparable taxes, although I agree that capital gains from investing your own money should be taxed at a lower rate.

  • Elwood

    So, what should we do? Outlaw hedge funds?

    Sounds very Ayrabesque to me.

    “If you have a hedge fund, you didn’t build that”

    “The hedge fund sector is doing just fine.”

    “Without my teleprompter I’m a babbling idiot.”

  • JohnW

    So, what should we do? Outlaw hedge funds?

    Nope. Just tax people who make a living that way the same as somebody who works as an engineer, teacher, or car salesperson. If it’s income from capital gains (meaning you put your own capital at risk), then tax it like capital gains. Otherwise, tax it like ordinary income.

    Is there a problem with that notion?

  • Elwood

    Why yes, there’s a big problem with that notion.

    The United States Congress.

    Some people support themselves by picking up the garbage, some by investing other people’s money.

    One is more valuable than the other and is treated differently by the tax code.

  • JohnW

    You’re joking, right?

    My financial advisor invests for me, and a lot of people who are in a much higher league than I am. He gets paid by his clients and pays ordinary income tax on his earnings. When he invests his own money and has capital gains, he pays the lower capital gains rate. The special treatment of so-called “carried interest” income has no rationale other than D.C. shenanigans. The former CEO of a large company I worked for now owns a successful private equity company in NY and sometimes appears on CNBC. He has been interviewed on the subject and stated that there is no justification for the special treatment of carried interest income.

  • Elwood

    I reckon the hedge fund managers must have had a real good lobbyist.

  • JohnW

    Ya think?

  • ted ford

    Ryan doesn’t pass the test of “qualified to be President”. His experience is as former Congressional staffer and Congressman and is insufficient. His ideology derives from the novels of Ayn Rand. This is thin stuff. He is not as derisively weak as Sarah Palin, but not a whole lot better. A much better choice by Romney would have been Jeb Bush

  • JohnW

    Ryan, like Grover Norquist, is no deficit hawk. He is a “starve the beast” hawk. The “Ryan budget” does not theoretically balance until 2040 (when Ryan would be 70), because the spending cuts are used to pay for more tax cuts rather than to get our fiscal house in order.

    It was interesting to see Ryan tap dance with Brit Hume on Fox when pressed over the fact that the “Ryan budget” passed by the House keeps the same Medicare spending cuts that he and Romney are now hammering Obama about. The difference is that Ryan uses the savings to pay for tax cuts. Obamacare reallocates the savings to help fund ObamaCare but also to pay for closing the Medicare prescription drug “doughnut hole” and for Medicare preventive care services.

    Ryan did not vote against any of the things under Bush that account for $6 Trillion of additional national debt.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Yeah, let’s have a full-blown, high-level dee-bate on economics and finance policies. That ‘ll wake up the voters! I can’t wait to get them supply-siders and Keynesians to grapple in intellectual combat!

  • JohnW

    Re: #43

    Indeed. As we speak, Ryan is filling Mitt in on the works of Ayn Rand and the virtuous economic theories of Friedrich Hayek, Friedrich von Wieser and Ludwig von Mises.

    Mitt is now backing away from the Ryan budget. So, he picked Ryan, whose total political identity is based on his budget ideas. And Mitt did this why?