Romney Chooses Rep. Paul Ryan As Vice Presidential Candidate


Topics: Medicare, Politics

Aug 11, 2012

The decision puts the House Budget Committee chairman’s plan to overhaul Medicare at the center of the presidential campaign.

The Washington Post: Paul Ryan Is Romney’s Pick For Vice-Presidential Nominee
Mitt Romney has selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential running mate. … Romney’s campaign formally alerted supporters at 7 a.m. via an iPhone app that the seven-term congressman would be the Republican vice-presidential nominee. Minutes later, the campaign sent out a release calling Romney and Ryan “America’s comeback team.” … It is a fight Democrats have savored, believing the details of Ryan’s budget will turn off voters and persuade them that Democrats offer a fairer path to reduced deficits through a combination of spending cuts and higher taxes on the wealthy. Ryan’s plan to overhaul Medicare is particularly controversial and will now play a key role in critical swing states with large retiree populations, most notably Florida, where Romney and Ryan are scheduled to campaign on Monday (Rucker and Helderman, 8/11).

The Washington Post: Why The Debate Over Paul Ryan’s Budget And Medicare Could Be As Risky For Democrats As For The GOP
While Democrats have had success this cycle in hammering Republican congressional candidates over the Ryan budget — particularly its proposed overhaul of federal entitlement programs such as Medicare — there’s a case to be made that when it comes to the budget debate, Democrats could face as much risk as they do reward. The reason? If Democrats slam the GOP ticket with the familiar charge that the Ryan plan would “end Medicare as we know it,” Republicans have a counter-argument at the ready: namely, that Democrats backed a national health care law that trims $500 billion in federal spending on the health-care program for the elderly and disabled (Sonmez, 8/11).

The New York Times: Romney Picks Paul Ryan Of Wisconsin
The Ryan alternative to the Obama administration’s budget — once seen by many Republicans as too politically fraught, with its blunt talk on overhauling Medicare and Social Security — has become the core of the party’s fiscal plan. He was a central pillar in winning a Congressional majority in 2010 and persuaded his party to embrace a “Roadmap for America’s Future,” and promoted himself as one of the party’s leaders who called themselves the Young Guns. Now, Mr. Ryan’s budget plan becomes the centerpiece of the debate in the presidential campaign, with Democrats eager to pounce on the program that is politically risky. Even for Republicans, the dangers were underscored by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich last year, who called the plan “right wing social engineering,” but was quickly scolded by conservatives (Zeleny, 8/11).

Los Angeles Times: Romney Makes It Official: His VP Pick Is Ryan
Ryan is a bold choice for the ever-cautious Romney campaign. The wonkish budget chief, 42, won the admiration of conservatives after championing major tax budget cuts while advocating deep changes to Medicare, the popular healthcare program for seniors — long viewed as a third rail of politics. The choice promises a fierce debate over the size and role of government in America over the next few months, and Democrats are relishing the chance to take on that fight (Mehta, 8/11).

Los Angeles Times: Key Differences Between Paul Ryan And Mitt Romney
The Republican running mates, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, agree on most major issues, but present a sharp contrast in background, temperament and outlook (Lauter, 8/11).

The Wall Street Journal: Romney Picks Ryan As Running Mate
The pick suggests a strategic rethink for Mr. Romney, whose campaign until this point seemed geared toward making the election a referendum on the president, with the GOP candidate maintaining a relatively low policy profile. The embrace of Mr. Ryan, and his budget prescriptions, turns that idea on its head. … During his congressional career, Mr. Ryan has written bills that would allow future retirees to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in the stock market and transform Medicare, the health-care program for the elderly, into a system of subsidized private insurance. The congressman contends that these changes—none of which became law—are critical to avoiding the programs’ insolvency. Mr. Ryan’s initial proposal to overhaul Medicare became a flashpoint last year when he included a version of it in his first budget blueprint as committee chairman. He has since offered a revised version that would allow younger Americans to receive standard Medicare coverage or use tax subsidies to buy private insurance (Murray, Nelson and O’Connor, 8/11).

Politico: GOP Asks On Ryan, Brilliant Or Political Malpractice?
The selection of Ryan … disrupts a race that had been trending subtly but unmistakably Obama’s way. Romney now has a chance to make the race about something big, rather than the petty squabbles that have dominated the general election so far (Allen, 8/11).

Politico: How Paul Ryan’s Ideas Went Mainstream In House GOP
But there are sure to be doubters – not least among some within House Republican leadership. There’s a significant pocket of aides and lawmakers within the top rungs of leadership who think Ryan’s selection is detrimental to House Republicans. Outside groups – mainly super PACs and their affiliated organizations – have recently received polling that showed the Ryan budget was lethal to their political prospects. So in close races across the country, Republican candidates are taking pains to stay away from the budget chairman’s plan, which would overhaul Medicare. Democrats have gleefully seized on it as a political winner for their party. When the plan came to the House floor earlier this year, 10 Republicans joined all Democrats to oppose the proposal (Sherman, Kim and Nocera, 8/11).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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