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Romney announces VP pick

G.K. Chesterton

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Mitt Romney introduced Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate Tuesday, turning to a deeply conservative, budget-cutting specialist to shore up trust in the party ticket among the small-tax, anti-big government tea party movement.

Ryan is the architect of a deeply conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan to cut trillions in federal spending, and his conservative credentials are highly regarded by fellow Republicans who control the House of Representatives.

Romney chose Ryan as a means of mollifying the Republican right wing which has shown only modest enthusiasm for his candidacy, given the former Massachusetts governor’s history, until his presidential campaign, of acting from a moderate political philosophy.

Aboard the retired battleship USS Wisconsin, Romney slipped up while introducing of Ryan.

“Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan,” a beaming Romney told the energized crowd in Norfolk, Virginia.

“Every now and then I’m known to make a mistake. I did not make a mistake with this guy,” he said at Ryan’s side, then telling the crowd that the Wisconsin congressman was “going to be the next vice president of the United States.”After he walked off stage, Romney’s wife Ann immediately told him he had made a mistake, prompting him to return to the podium to correct it.

Romney’s flub comes after his gaffe-filled tour of Europe during which he offended the British by questioning their readiness to host the Olympics and the Palestinians by suggesting they were culturally inferior to the Israelis.

Apparently, the president-vice president slip-up is a fairly easy one to make.

During President Barack Obama’s first joint rally with Joe Biden in 2008, Obama told an Illinois crowd, “Let me introduce to you, the next president – the next vice president of the United States of America: Joe Biden.”

The campaign team of John McCain, then the Republican presidential candidate, quickly pounced on the mistake to suggest that Biden, a veteran Delaware senator, might wield the real power in an Obama administration.

Romney also needs to repair his image after a summer filled with political gaffes, especially during a trip abroad, and the incessant drumbeat of negative advertising by President Barack Obama’s campaign apparatus. In combination, those realities have harmed the Republican’s campaign momentum and seen him lose ground to Obama.

Ryan came out swinging early Saturday, blaming Obama for the country’s sluggish economy.

“Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution” to an economy that has yet to make a strong recovery from the worst recession in decades, he said.

Romney exulted in his choice, telling cheering supporters at an outdoor rally that “I did not make a mistake with this guy.”

In the campaign to come, Republicans will present economic solutions “that are bold, specific and achievable,” Romney said. “We offer our commitment to create 12 million new jobs and bring better take home pay to middle class families.”

The ticket-mates made their first joint appearance at a naval museum, in front of the battleship USS Wisconsin, the initial stop of a bus tour that will take them through four battleground states — Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio — in as many days.

First Romney, then Ryan, a generation younger than his patron, jogged down the ship’s gangplank to the cheers of hundreds and the stirring soundtrack from the movie “Air Force One.”

Having Ryan on the ticket also could help Romney become more competitive in Wisconsin, a state Obama won handily four years ago in the state-by-state race for the presidency, but that could be much tighter this November. Ryan is a seven-term congressman from a district in the southeast of the state.

Democrats also had hoped for the Ryan selection, believing they could boost their fortunes by pinning on Romney what they see as an unpopular budget plan that calls for deep cuts in government spending and a major overhaul of entitlement programs.

“The architect of the radical Republican House budget, Ryan, like Romney, proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education,” Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager, said in a written statement. He added that the Republican ticket’s proposals would place “greater burdens” on the middle class and seniors.

At 42, Ryan is a generation younger than the 65-year-old Romney.

Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, and primary author of conservative tax and spending blueprints that the tea party-infused Republican majority approved over vociferous Democratic opposition in 2011 and again in 2012. The plan failed to gain approval in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

It envisions transforming Medicare — the national health insurance program for Americans age 65 and older — into a program in which future seniors would receive government checks that they could use to purchase health insurance from private companies. Under the current program, the government directly pays doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. Obama contends the plan would end up costing Medicare beneficiaries more than $6,000 a year.

Ryan and other supporters say the change is needed to prevent the program from financial calamity.

Other elements of the budget plan would cut projected spending for Medicaid, the government plan that provides health care for the poor, as well as food stamps, student loans and other social programs that Obama and Democrats have pledged to defend. Food stamps allow the poor to buy food at a discount.

In all, it projected spending cuts of $5.3 trillion over a decade, and cut future projected deficits substantially.

It also envisions a far reaching overhaul of the tax code of the sort Romney has promised.

In turning to Ryan, Romney bypassed other potential running mates without the Wisconsin lawmaker’s following among rank-and-file conservatives, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who were both viewed as safer picks.

Republican officials said Romney had spoken with both men.

In endorsing Romney before his state’s primary last spring, Ryan said, “I picked who I think is going to be the next president of the United States — I picked Mitt Romney. … The moment is here. The country can be saved. It is not too late to get America back on the right track. … It is not too late to save the American idea.”

In recent days, conservative pundits and some mainstream Republicans have been urging Romney to choose Ryan in large part because of his authorship of the House-backed budget plan.

Ryan, a Roman Catholic, also enjoys support among social conservatives for his staunch opposition to abortion.

Ryan has worked in Washington for much of his adult life, a contrast to Romney, who frequently emphasizes his experience in business.

Ryan worked as an aide in Congress, and also was a speechwriter for U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, the party’s 1996 vice-presidential candidate who had been one of the driving forces behind across-the-board tax cuts that were at the heart of Ronald Reagan’s winning presidential campaign in 1980.

Ryan is also well-known for his fiendish physical fitness workouts.

Ryan’s selection — as well as Romney’s own nomination — will be ratified by delegates to the Republican National Convention that begins on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Florida.

Obama and Vice-President Joseph Biden will be nominated for a second term at the Democratic convention the following week in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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A fiscal Conservative from Wisconsin whose only claim to fame is he knows how Washington "works" .. an oxymoron if I ever heard one .. his budget proposals would strip even greater levels of the "social safety net" .. the Dems are rubbing their hands with glee .. Mitt the Manikin and a guy who looks like he swallowed his top teeth .. how photogenic .. :towel:

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Paul Ryan of the Ryan Budget Plan, seeks to do away with Medicare for seniors.

He'll be a real fave with those seniors screaming to "No more Socialism" and "hand-off my federally funded MediCare!!"

Another country club white guy will be sure to help Romney's out of touch image with crucial Latino American voters also.

Not that i'm complaining, i'm very happy the Republicans didn't pick a visible minority.

Their slogan can officially now be. "Rich white guys for a better America for rich white guys! " Romney/Ryan 2012.

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In this battle of the "lesser of two evils" (tongue-in-cheek) I'll cast my vote in favor of the guy who was only given four years to try and clean up a 10 year plus mess. Alfred E. Neuman and Prick Cheney screwed us for eight years beginning in 2001 and even before then an ineffective final two years of the Clinton administration had us at the very least stagnating....and the effects of these earlier mistakes are now somehow Obama's fault because he was unfairly expected to clean up a 10 year garbage dump of a situation in four years? Only if he was a superhero could he do that. People have got their head up their ass, to be quite honest, and if Romney is voted in, it will only be because the objections people raised when Obama was originally elected will come back to the forefront...the whole "my pappy says because he's black he shouldnt be president" "show us your birth certificate" blah blah blah...One of the most intelligent human beings to ever hold the office and the unwashed masses have to find something to bitch about. I'm understanding more and more why Einstein turned town the Presidency of Israel some 60 years ago.

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