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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora