Minutes ago in Norfolk, Virginia, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was introduced as Mitt Romney’s running mate. It turns out all that talk about Romney being risk averse was a bigger head fake that those bogus rumors of considering Condi Rice.
There are five reasons why Mitt Romney’s bold pick of Paul Ryan is great for America.
1. Picking a Catholic running mate means that the Vice Presidential debate will feature two people who profess the Catholic faith but who are on opposite sides of life, marriage and religious liberty. The contrast couldn’t be greater. Paul Ryan has been outspoken on life and marriage. Joe Biden has supported abortion and pushed the White House to support same-sex ‘marriage.’ As CatholicVote noted yesterday, Paul Ryan has denounced the mandate: “This is much, much bigger than about contraception. This is about religious freedom, First Amendment rights, and how this progressive philosophy of fungible rights of a living breathing constitution really clashes and collides with these core rights that we built our society and country around.”
2. For the first time since Roe v. Wade, the Republican party will have a pro-life Catholic on the national ticket. The Republican Party has only nominated a Catholic once on the national ticket, when Barry Goldwater tapped New York Rep. William Miller on the 1964 ticket. And thankfully, Republican primary voters have, in the past, said no to pro-abortion Republican candidates like Rudy Guiliani. Paul Ryan has been a strong and consistent pro-life vote in Congress.
3. The Church, as well as the country, can have a conversation about government spending within its means. It’s one of the most important economic challenges facing us right now. Social Security and Medicare are set to go supernova in the budget as a title wave of Baby Boomers retire. Making the decision to slow down the rate of growth in these programs (not even actual cuts) would bring our fiscal house in order. But we’ll have to get beyond the hot air and vicious attacks.
4. And now we’ll have that national conversation on subsidiarity, too. The Obama campaign has said that they modeled their health care plan after Mitt Romney. But even if that’s true, it forgets the principle of federalism — the notion that the federal government should be limited to a few functions, allowing states and local communities (and civic organizations) the opportunity to tackle the problems in ways that work best for them. A one-size-fits-all solution has to work for the military, but why should we only have one health care plan across 3,000 miles?
5. Paul Ryan comes from a Midwestern blue collar district, critical to the GOP’s 2012 effort. For many years it was held by Les Aspin, a Democrat who became Clinton’s Defense Secretary. In fact, President Clinton bested Bob Dole in this district by about 12 points. If Republicans want to win the White House, they’ll need to win the hearts and minds of people like those who live in Wisconsin’s First District. Paul Ryan speaks their language and understands their concerns and is a natural person to make the case in industrial Catholic cities like Dubuque, Saginaw, and Toledo.
Mitt Romney went bold and picked Paul Ryan as his running mate. We’re now going to have an election based on ideas. We’ll have that much needed debate on Medicare spending. But we’re also not walking away from a debate on the HHS mandate and life and marriage, too.