AZ Views: Why not Paul Ryan for VP?

| August 10 2012
The Hot Spot

Mitt Romney is about to name his choice for vice president, the most important decision of the campaign and one that can pave the way to victory in November. He should step forward with a bold choice and name Paul Ryan.

The vice presidential choices represent a strong Republican bench. Pawlenty, Portman, Rubio, and Jindal are among them, all with strong credentials and proven experience. But only Ryan shows the vision and conviction on the nation’s economic future that will help to focus the campaign and force President Obama to face his record.

Mitt Romney is the consummate political professional, a well-organized and financed candidate with the ability to execute a sound campaign plan. But he needs a breakout move, a strike at the heart of Obama’s dismal economic record and a clear statement of the economic blueprint for a Romney administration. Paul Ryan fits the bill.

At age 42, Ryan is a veteran House member and Chairman of the Budget Committee. He toiled for years in relative obscurity to chart an economic plan for the future that cuts spending and borrowing and saves essential programs like Social Security and Medicare. When the GOP won a House majority in 2010, he emerged as the party’s economic guru and grabbed the national spotlight.

Ryan is no geek with a green eyeshade. He is tough but agreeable. He made headlines when he went toe-to-toe and even face-to-face with Obama and challenged him on healthcare and the federal budget. The president was so upset that he savaged Ryan in a speech with the congressman sitting in the front row only a few feet away. Ryan didn’t bat an eye.

Ryan will energize the Republican base and talk sense to the voters. Though the Democrats will brand him as a heartless Republican out to destroy the economic safety net, Ryan can make the case that he and Romney will save the safety net and put the economy on a clear path to recovery.

Mitt Romney needs to focus the campaign. He needs to force Obama to discuss his economic record. He needs to underline how his plans for the economy differ with the president. Paul Ryan is the perfect running mate to help deliver the message.

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