Paul Ryan Factbox, Nomination Reaction And Lifetime Donors
Reuters summarizes the key facts about the 42-year old House Budget Chair and potential future American vice president.
- Ryan, 42, a rising star among the populist Tea Party movement and fiscal conservatives who dominate the Republican Party, has served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives since first being elected in 1998.
- Ryan attracted attention when, as chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, offered a controversial plan in January 2010 to reform the tax code and eliminate the federal deficit. The plan relies on tax cuts and would minimize federal spending while drastically overhauling Medicare, the popular government-run health program for the elderly.
- Romney endorsed that plan during the primaries, and by adding the Wisconsin congressman to the ticket, he makes the document the centerpiece of his run for the White House and raises the possibility that much of the campaign debate will be about spending, deficits and Medicare, rather than job creation.
- Ryan could help Romney gain ground in his home state of Wisconsin, a battleground state that seems to be leaning toward Obama after a polarizing battle over the unsuccessful recall of the state's Republican Governor Scott Walker.
- But because of Ryan's plan to cut Medicare, Romney also runs the risk of alienating seniors, a group that has narrowly backed Republicans in recent elections.
- Before being elected to Congress, Ryan was an aide to conservative U.S. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas and has worked with U.S. Senator Robert Kasten of Wisconsin. Ryan also worked for former New York congressman and one-time Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp. These experiences make him a creature of Congress - a political body that has become increasingly unpopular among voters in recent years.
- Ryan is a fifth-generation Wisconsin resident. He grew up in Janesville before attending college at Miami University in Ohio. His father and grandfather died of heart attacks in their 50s, making him mindful of a healthy lifestyle and he exercises frequently.
And here are select reactions from various individuals across the political spectrum to his nomination:
WISCONSIN GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER, REPUBLICAN
"Governor Mitt Romney made a bold and reform-minded selection in Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. This election has to be about who is going to look out for the next generation. America needs a comeback team to turn around the economy and to turn around the fiscal status of our country. Romney and Ryan have the ideas and the experience needed to take on these core issues. This is a great day for Wisconsin and an even greater day for America."
OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER JIM MESSINA
"In naming Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy. ... As a member of Congress, Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeating the same, catastrophic mistakes."
FLORIDA GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT, REPUBLICAN
"Like Governor Romney, Congressman Ryan understands that government doesn't create jobs, people do, and that the best way to create jobs is to get government out of the way. I'm confident that Congressman Ryan will be a great partner for Governor Romney in getting America back to work."
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS, A CONSERVATIVE ADVOCACY GROUP
"Tea Party Patriots welcomes the selection of Paul Ryan as the vice-presidential running mate for Governor Mitt Romney. With this selection, Governor Romney and the Republican Party make it clear that they have accepted the Tea Party Patriots' values of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets as the best course of action for economic recovery and restoring personal freedom and individual responsibility to our national values."
MARY KAY HENRY, PRESIDENT OF THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION
"Representative Ryan has made a name for himself by fighting in the halls of Congress for tax giveaways for the wealthy and big corporations while proposing to gut vital services like Medicare and education, and eliminating any sense of retirement security for working families. His no-holds-barred record of attacking seniors, children, and working men and women is frightening for the 99 percent of Americans who are not rich -- but for Mitt Romney it was a calling card to choose him as a running mate."
U.S. SENATOR ROB PORTMAN, REPUBLICAN
"Mitt Romney has made a great choice in Paul Ryan. He is an accomplished public servant and a leading voice on the most pressing issues facing our country. Paul is one of my best friends in Congress and someone I have worked closely with as a former colleague on the House Ways and Means Committee."
FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY, REPUBLICAN
"Congressman Ryan is a respected leader and a bold thinker regarding the changes needed to restore America. His selection will also help Governor Romney win the key swing state of Wisconsin. I am excited about a Romney-Ryan ticket and look forward to doing all I can to help them win this election."
FORMER U.S. SENATOR RICK SANTORUM, REPUBLICAN
"Congressman Paul Ryan is an outstanding choice as our country's next vice president, and today's announcement demonstrates Governor Romney's commitment to returning fiscal sanity back to Washington, D.C. I have long supported Paul Ryan's fiscal and entitlement reforms to return our country back on a path of fiscal health. At a time when our country is at an economic crossroads, Congressman Ryan's depth of knowledge on how to tackle these challenges is unparalleled. ... He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national security priorities. I look forward to supporting the Romney-Ryan ticket in the weeks to come."
RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT OF THE AFL-CIO
"Whether its outsourcing American jobs or picking his running mate, Mitt Romney's proven just how bad his decision making is for working people. Aligning himself with the poster-child for ending Medicare and Social Security puts to rest any suggestion that Romney has a clue what the middle-class needs. We're witnessing the radical Tea Party extremes drive its final nail in what was once the Republican Party."
LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL, REPUBLICAN
"Paul is a good friend and one of the smartest guys I served with in Congress. He has the courage of his convictions, which is what our nation needs."
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, DEMOCRAT
"By picking Representative Paul Ryan, Governor Romney has doubled down on his commitment to gut Social Security and end Medicare as we know it. Romney's choice demonstrates that catering to the Tea Party and the far-right is more important to him than standing up for the middle class. The months ahead will provide Americans with a clear choice between the Romney-Ryan plan to gut Social Security and Medicare and Democrats' balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines smart spending cuts with asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. Democrats in the Senate look forward to engaging in that debate."
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI, DEMOCRAT
"There is no question that former Governor Romney now owns the Republican Ryan budget that puts millionaires ahead of Medicare and the middle class. Congressman Paul Ryan led House Republicans in voting to end the Medicare guarantee, which increases costs on seniors and weakens America's great middle class in order to give tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas."
JUSTIN RUBEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MOVEON.ORG, A LIBERAL ADVOCACY GROUP
"Romney and Ryan are the 1 percent Dream Team. Representative Paul Ryan is an extremist ideologue who wants to end Medicare, radically redistribute wealth to the top 1 percent, and throw America's middle class under the bus. Ryan's proposed budget would cost America more than a million jobs in less than one year. Like Romney, Ryan believes the poor and middle class should pay more so the rich can get richer. Romney's choice of Ryan is sure to energize MoveOn's more than 7 million members as we work to ensure voters know the truth about Romney and Ryan's extreme plans to demolish Medicare, raise middle class taxes to fund tax cuts for billionaires, and destroy jobs."