Romney Selects Paul Ryan
By Steve Deace
Now that the pick is official, here’s my instant analysis of what Paul Ryan brings to Mitt Romney’s ticket.
Ryan is a young (42) committed Catholic with small children still at home from the city of Janesville, Wisconsin (population less than 65,000). So right away he has the potential to soften Romney’s elitist image.
As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan is best known as the architect of the “Ryan Plan.” The plan, applauded by conservatives, included vouchers and private insurance options as a way of phasing out the Medicare program as we know it beginning in 2022. The plan would also block grant Medicaid funding to the states. While the plan does not go far enough in reigning in a Welfare State that has the U.S. careening towards Greece, it certainly was a good first step to essentially get the conversation started. And there’s no doubt it’s bolder than anything Romney has proposed or campaigned on.
Pro-lifers should be excited by Ryan. Ryan has a 100% record from National Right to Life (which in several cases has sadly opposed personhood legislation around the country). Ryan himself was one of 62 co-sponsors of federal personhood legislation in 2011 (The Sanctity of Human Life Act). That bill stated: “The right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person; and the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.”
Ryan has also made some strong statements in support of the sanctity of life, which you can read here.
On pro-family issues Ryan’s record is solid, and he’s made all the right enemies with an almost annual 0% rating from the hard Leftists at the Human Rights Campaign. The only exception to that came in 2007, when he scored a 10% for voting for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (aka ENDA). ENDA is the unholy grail for the homosexual activists, because it would federalize so-called gay rights and impose them even upon the church. It’s a ghastly threat to religious liberty, which the Family Research Council has spent a lot of time and energy raising awareness against and fighting. How someone like Ryan could get this wrong with such an otherwise sterling record on pro-family issues is inexplicable.
Despite his controversial (to the Left) plan to reign in government spending, Ryan is amazingly one of only six current House Republicans to have voted for TARP, the auto industry bailouts, raising the debt ceiling, and all the continuing resolutions the Republican-controlled Congress has used to continue funding Obamacare and the Obama Regime’s other schemes. According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, the Constitutionally criminal TARP (my opinion) is the most unpopular legislation in recent political history, and now both major party tickets for president supported it. However, Ryan being hurt by that probably depends on conservative media reporting that information to the base, and I doubt they’re in a hurry to do that.
Democrats blistered Ryan’s budget plan when it was being debated in the House, and probably already have their attack ads prepared for key states like Florida, with high elderly populations. It will be difficult to impossible for Romney to win the presidency without Florida.
The Bottom Line
Ryan’s selection finally gives Romney a specific issue/plan to run on. Romney is now married to the Ryan budget plan the rest of the election. He won’t be able to flip-flop from this, even if he wants to, because the liberal media won’t allow it. If he tries to punt on the Ryan Plan like he has so many other issues, the liberal media will hang him high with it.
By selecting Ryan, Romney is now forced to do what many of us have said all along he must do — pick a big issue and a bold plan and make that case to the American people in order to close the sale. We’ll see if Romney is up to the task. I’m confident Ryan is, if the Romney campaign will let him. If Romney’s not up to the task, he will lose the election as the Left bastardizes and bludgeons Ryan’s budget plan all the way to election day.
Ryan wasn’t the best option for Romney in my opinion (I believe Huckabee, Jindal, and Rubio would’ve been superior), but he’s certainly better than the awful Tim Pawlenty or ultimate insider Rob Portman. He will stop the bleeding with beltway conservatives (National Review, Ann Coulter, Fox News, Weekly Standard), who were growing increasingly apprehensive with the Romney campaign’s prevent defense (see that as losing) strategy. Whether he will rally the grassroots is up to the Romney Campaign. Will they let him go or tether him like John McCain did Sarah Palin four years ago?
Finally, the timing of the announcement is also worth noting. This is the second earliest a major party candidate for president has announced his running mate. Needing a shakeup and some buzz injected into his campaign, fellow Massachusetts candidate John Kerry named John Edwards his running mate on July 6th, 2004. By announcing this at the crack of dawn on a Saturday while the world is distracted by the Olympics, the Romney campaign is acknowledging how desperate the situation was becoming. With only 87 days until the election, they couldn’t waste another 48-hour news cycle of bad polling data and missed opportunities by waiting until Monday.
Expectations are very low for Romney, and he has managed to live down to them time and time again. This is one time he actually exceeded them.
You can friend “Steve Deace” on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.