Republicans See Intellectual Firepower in Paul Ryan

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and vice presidential candidate Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan are joined by Ryan's daughter Liza as they wave to the crowd, Aug. 11, 2012, in Norfolk, Va. Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and vice presidential candidate Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan are joined by Ryan's daughter Liza as they wave to the crowd, Aug. 11, 2012, in Norfolk, Va.
    x
    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and vice presidential candidate Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan are joined by Ryan's daughter Liza as they wave to the crowd, Aug. 11, 2012, in Norfolk, Va.
    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and vice presidential candidate Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan are joined by Ryan's daughter Liza as they wave to the crowd, Aug. 11, 2012, in Norfolk, Va.
    Peter Heinlein

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate has thrust the Wisconsin congressman from relative obscurity into the national spotlight.  Republicans are hoping the pick will boost Romney's campaign.

    Many political pundits were caught off guard when Mitt Romney named the Paul Ryan, 42, as his vice presidential choice.

    The Wisconsin congressman is a leading proponent of budget-cutting proposals that have been intensely criticized by Democrats.  They say his cuts would damage popular social programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, the insurance programs for the elderly and the poor.

    Romney said he sees Ryan as a man with the intellectual heft to counter the Democrats' politically powerful arguments. "Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party.  He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt, and the fiscal catastrophe that awaits us if we don't change course," said Romney.

    Long on Washington Experience

    Ryan has spent nearly half his life in Washington, first as a young congressional staffer, then as one of the youngest members of the House of Representatives.  He won a seat in Congress at the age of 28, and is completing his seventh two-year term.

    He grew up in Janesville, a small town in Wisconsin where he still lives with his wife and three children.  On Capitol Hill, his frugality gained attention: he lives in his office four days a week, then flies home every weekend to be with his family.

    Ryan is a practicing Catholic, and his choice signals Romney's hope to win over Catholics and members of other religious groups who have expressed discomfort with Romney's Mormon faith.

    Ryan is also a fitness buff, something he says is a lesson from his father, who died of a heart attack when Ryan was 16.  In his speech thanking Romney for choosing him, Ryan talked about his father's influence on him. "My dad died when I was young.  He was a good and decent man.  I still remember a couple things he would say that have really stuck with me.  'Son, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.'  Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution.  The other thing my dad would say is that every generation of Americans leaves their children better off.  That's the American legacy," said Ryan.

    Specializes in financial, economic issues

    Ryan rose through the ranks in Congress to become chairman of the House Budget Committee.  He is also a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

    He is perhaps best known for his 2010 proposal to eliminate the federal budget deficit - a plan that he called a "Roadmap for America's Future."  That won the admiration and staunch support of fiscal conservatives.  Because the roadmap insists on deep cuts in many popular government programs, Democrats see a political advantage in it, and they were gleeful when Ryan was announced as Romney's running mate.

    Immediately after Romney introduced Ryan to a cheering crowd of Republicans Saturday morning, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee director, Robby Mook, sent out a fundraising appeal announcing: "Romney just named Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee. Yeah, THAT Paul Ryan.  The architect of the Republican plan to kill Medicare."

    Before running for Congress, Ryan worked as an aide to Wisconsin Senator Robert Kasten, and later for former congressman Sam Brownback, now the governor of Kansas.  Ryan also worked as a speechwriter for former congressman and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, and for former education secretary William Bennett. 

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jamie from: Tampa
    August 12, 2012 9:30 AM
    I am glad they see intelligence in Paul Ryan. Now all they need to do is to find it in Mitt and all will be well. Ryan wants to privatize social security and take medicare away. Right..genius.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora