With the Republican National Convention in less than a month, presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced this past weekend his vice presidential running mate as U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.
Although Ryan’s staunch conservative background most likely will not pander to independent voters, his youth and reputation as a fiscally responsible congressman will help to ignite the Republican base during the heart of election season.
After much speculation over the past few months, Romney announced Ryan as his running mate early Saturday morning prior to a campaign event in Norfolk, Mass.
Ryan, like many other GOP vice presidential hopefuls, such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, went through months of a vetting and screening process before Romney made a decision. Romney made his decision on Aug. 1 after returning from a weeklong trip abroad.
Romney’s choice of Ryan gives voters a distinct difference when choosing whom to elect to office this November. Ryan is a well-known young member of the GOP who was named chairman of the Budget Committee after the 2010 elections that gave Republicans a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ryan often puts his own fiscal year budgets, known for slashing entitlement programs and taxes, up against President Barack Obama’s democratically endorsed budgets. He favors creating a voucher system for Medicare and partially privatizing social security. He is also starkly socially conservative and an unapologetically pro-life Catholic.
Ryan is the candidate Romney needed to help ignite the Republican base in the midst of election season. Ryan is fiscally and socially conservative, but also young and rousing enough to excite a crowd. Romney’s choice of Ryan also will help the candidate win Wisconsin, Ryan’s home state and an integral battleground state that was recently favored to choose Obama this November by public opinion polling. Ryan comes from a small town and a Catholic family of small business owners, helping him connect with the middle-class voters that Romney was having a hard time with due to his extreme wealth.
But Ryan also poses issues for Romney this election season. He has no foreign policy experience, a shortcoming that caused a number of issues for former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the 2008 election. Romney’s choice of Ryan also undercuts one of his main arguments, as he often attacks Obama for having no experience in the private sector.
Although Ryan helped run his family’s business during the younger years of his life, he has spent his entire career in the public sector as a congressman.The Nov. 6 election is less than three months away, and both campaigns are increasing the rhetoric and negative campaign attacks to gain voters and donations.
Romney made a wise choice with Ryan as his running mate to collect donations and ignite his base.
But, being that Ryan is so starkly conservative, he will most likely not garner a lot of independent voters this November.
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