Election 2014  
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"An Extreme Choice" -- What Two of Wisconsin's Leading Progressive Journalists Think About Mitt Romney's Pick of Paul Ryan

"He’s to the right of both President Bushes. I think he’s to the right of Dick Cheney," says Matthew Rothschild of the Progressive Magazine.

The candidates take the stage at a campaign event in High Point, N.C., the day after Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate.
Photo Credit: © Jenny Warburg



AMY GOODMAN: On Saturday, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan, now 42, was elected to the House of Representatives at 28. He’s a Republican representative. He’s also chair of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. He spoke in Virginia right after his selection was made.

REP. PAUL RYAN: I’ve been asked by Governor Romney to serve the country that I love. Janesville, Wisconsin, is where I was born and raised, and I never really left it. It’s our home now. For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There—there I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, turning ideas into action and action into solutions. I am committed in heart and mind to putting that experience to work in a Romney administration.

This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation, and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness. That man—that man is standing right next to me. His name is Mitt Romney, and he will be the next president of the United States of America.

My dad died when I was young. He was a good and decent man. There are a few things he would say that have just always stuck with me. He’d say, "Son, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution." Well, regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution.

AMY GOODMAN: Paul Ryan was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, where he still lives with his wife and three children. He’s a practicing Catholic. As chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan was the architect of a controversial budget plan to cut spending by over $5 trillion over the next 10 years. Democrats have argued his planned Medicare and Medicaid reform would essentially dismantle key components of the social safety net. Speaking in Mooresville, North Carolina, Sunday, Romney contrasted his team’s economic policy with that of the Obama administration.

MITT ROMNEY: There are some who are—who are fearful that if we stay on the track we’re on, we’re going to end up like Greece, and we’re going to have, like Europe has, the chronic high unemployment and the low wage growth and fiscal calamity right at the door. That’s not the path we’ll take us down. I see our president making us more and more like Europe. I don’t want to be like Europe. I want to be like America.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, reaction to Ryan’s addition to the Republican ticket was mixed. President Obama won the state in 2008, but this year Romney hopes to win the state’s 10 electoral votes. This is Wisconsin resident Mark Saphos.

MARK SAPHOS: I think we need more fiscal responsibility in politics today, and I think Paul brings that to the table. I think that’s his greatest asset. Spending and spending and not having the money and printing more money to solve the world’s problems, I don’t think is the way to go. I think Paul is one of the few in politics today that’s willing to address that head on. So I think it’s a great choice.

AMY GOODMAN: Other residents expressed concerns about his fiscal policies. This is Wesley Enterline, also of Wisconsin.

WESLEY ENTERLINE: I personally don’t agree with the direction Paul Ryan wants to go with the financial state of affairs in the country. I don’t plan on voting for either of the major two parties. I really hold environmental concerns as my chief value, and I plan on voting for the Green Party and hope that other people consider the Green Party, as well.

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