LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate.
Romney introduced Ryan at a rally in Norfolk, Virginia Saturday morning. Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, and author of a tax and spending blueprint that makes big cuts and rewrites Medicare into a voucher-like program.
Romney said Ryan is a man of what he calls “great steadiness” and “unquestioned integrity.” The former Massachusetts governor said Ryan is a “shining exception” in a political world of pettiness.
Speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950, Congresswoman Candice Miller, who is also a colleague of Ryan’s, said Romney made the right choice.
“There is nobody better than Paul Ryan. He’s fully prepared to engage in the debate by outlining, really, how we can start structurally reforming our budget, saving social security and Medicare for future generations and I think really putting our nation on a path to prosperity,” said Miller.
Miller said Michigan voters will be able to connect with Ryan, especially because of his blue-collar background.
“I think Paul Ryan is going to connect with voters across the nation but especially in the Midwest, in a state like Michigan. He’s a fiscal conservative, he knows that we can’t keep spending more money than we take in, he’s a great family man who comes from a blue-collar, hard-working background,” said Miller.
Meantime, the Obama administration released a statement saying that Romney and Ryan share a commitment to “budget-busting tax cuts” for the wealthy that will end up placing “greater burdens” on the middle class and seniors. Campaign manager Jim Messina called Ryan the architect of a “radical” GOP budget proposal that “would end Medicare as we know it.”
A statement from Michigan State AFL-CIO President Karla Swift said the Romney/Ryan budget plan would turn Medicare “into a voucher system at a much greater cost to seniors. Working families cannot afford to elect a duo who will slash middle class support systems for the benefit of the super-rich.”
Zack Pohl, executive director of Progesss Michigan, feels the same way. In a statement, Pohl called the Romney/Ryan budget “bad news for Michigan seniors and the middle class.” He said leaders should be more interested in investing in education and strengthening the middle class, rather than giving “more unaccountable tax breaks to corporate special interests.”
But Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak disagrees, calling Romney and Ryan “America’s Comeback Team.” In a statement, Schostak said “the Romney-Ryan ticket is committed to fixing Washington, helping put Americans back to work and ending the record high unemployment that’s become a hallmark of the Obama administration.”
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette called Ryan an “excellent generational choice for Republican Party.” In a statement, Schuette said “Ryan is smart, experienced and understands the significance of the enormous budget deficit stalling out jobs and economic growth” and “would be able to do the job — he is prepared to fulfill the responsibilities of President, if called upon.”
Just hours after his campaign confirmed Ryan as his selection, Romney said Ryan won’t demonize his opponents. Romney said Democrats may disagree with Ryan’s policies, but he doesn’t know anyone who doesn’t respect his character and judgment.
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