Earlier today the Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his VP running mate.
He even announced him as the “future President”. First I thought Mr. Romney is stepping aside and let Mr. Ryan take his place.
But I don’t know. Maybe it isn’t really so far off. One just has to remember the Bush/Cheney years.
So what do we know about Mr Ryan?
Well, he IS a Washington insider, and worked in politics his entire life. It is now difficult for Mr. Romney to explain that Barack Obama problem is that he’s “never spent a day in the private sector”, and then put Mr. Ryan in the VP spot.
And he flips. He supported the TARP bailout plan, and now he advocates radical spending cuts. He voted for the war in Iraq, another cause for the rising deficit.
Now he wants to end Medicare as we know it. He wants to cut spending, cat aid to the poor (62% of the overall cuts), cut taxes for the wealthy and raise them otherwise for 95% of the population.
In 2005 he said about the philosopher Ayn Rand: “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.”
In 2012 he said “I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview”, and noted that his views were more aligned with those of the Roman Catholic philosopher and saint, Thomas Aquinas, than Ayn Rand. This was in response to criticism from Catholic leaders.
An interesting side note is that Mr. Ryan supported gay rights (at least in 2007 – who knows what he now supports), and we know where Mr. Romney stands.
In Congress since 1999, Mr. Ryan could be viewed as one of the reasons that the approval rating of Congress is a low 12%. And he’s not favored by many republicans.
Here’s my take: Mr.Ryan is a darling of the tea party, while Mr. Romney is not. Mr. Romney got his spot because the republicans considered him the best chance to defeat Obama in the general election, not because they liked him – he was the best choice among all the original contenders. Now Mr. Ryan fills the gap and at least the tea party has something to cheer for. However, for the rest of the population, the tea party is synonymous for the grid lock in Congress, preventing solutions that would have been possible otherwise.
Mr. Romney is viewed as a wealthy candidate how is not in touch with the majority of people and their problems. Mr. Ryan appears like he doesn’t care about the poor and the elderly.
A terrific combination.