By Kira Zalan |
Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate in this fall's election. Romney made the formal announcement Saturday, ending months of speculation surrounding his vice presidential pick.
Ryan, who as chairman of the House Budget Committee has garnered national attention for his controversial budget proposals, was among those known to be under consideration for the vice presidential nomination. Ryan is a vocal opponent of what he calls out-of-control federal spending, and seeks to overhaul entitlement programs in an effort to reduce the deficit. Republicans see Ryan as a way to energize their base, which has been less than enthusiastic about Romney's candidacy. Ryan is likable, an excellent speaker and debater, and could help Romney carry his home state of Wisconsin.
Democrats say Romney's selection of Ryan as his running mate proves his campaign is getting desperate. Recent polls have shown President Barack Obama's lead growing, and Democrats say the Ryan pick may prove Romney knows he's behind. They have attacked Ryan over his plan to dismantle Medicare, and have also pointed out Ryan's criticisms of Romney's Massachusetts healthcare reform. As with Romney, Democrats also accuse Ryan of favoring tax cuts for the rich at the expense of the middle class. Ryan may also further polarize the race and fail to bring in independent votes for Romney because of his conservative fiscal and social views. Is Paul Ryan a good choice as Mitt Romney's running mate? Here's the Debate Club's take:
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist and Political Analyst
Jamal Simmons Principal at The Raben Group
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College