State Government and Political Roundup: Ryan to appear on the ballots for VP and the U.S. HouseWisconsin News
-- Paul Ryan will be on the ballot in November for both vice-president and the First District U.S. House seat he’s held for the last 13-and-a-half years.
JANESVILLE - Paul Ryan will be on the ballot in November for both vice-president and the First District U.S. House seat he’s held for the last 13-and-a-half years.
According to the Racine Journal-Times, state law allows him to run for both. And the House Budget Chairman from Janesville confirmed on CBS’s “60 Minutes” last night that he’ll take full advantage. The Republican Ryan will keep running for his House seat against small business owner Rob Zerban, a Democrat from Kenosha, while he campaigns nationally as Mitt Romney’s running mate. If Ryan wins the vice-presidency in November, his possible election to Congress would become void – and a special election would then be held to fill that post. Zerban said quote, “Now that Paul Ryan’s personal ambition has clearly trumped his interest in the First District, I have no doubt he’ll find himself out of a job come November.” But Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert said the polls don’t show that. He cited an internal poll which gave Ryan 63-percent support in his House district in late July, to 29-percent for Zerban.
About 100 Democrats rallied at a Milwaukee union hall yesterday in support of President Obama, after his opponent named Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan as his running mate. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett called the House Budget Chairman from Janesville a “nice guy.” But he said Ryan’s proposals would end Medicare as we know it and would quote, “gut critical investment that helps the middle class.” The Democratic rally was held just hours before Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney appeared with Ryan in Waukesha. Local Democrats said the choice of Ryan means they’ll have to work harder to try and get Obama to carry the Badger State in November. Retired Mequon teacher Jeanne Phale said the choice of Ryan gives Romney some momentum. No Republican has carried Wisconsin in the presidential contest since 1984, when Ronald Reagan won his second term.
Some observers say Wisconsinites have voter fatigue after the Walker recall battle in June. Only about 20-percent of the state’s voters are expected to cast ballots tomorrow in a four-way Republican U-S Senate primary which has some well-known names as candidates. And a Marquette poll shows that one-of-every-five likely voters were undecided as recently as last week about which Senate candidate they’d choose. Nancy Milholland of the Racine Tea Party says many folks have tuned out because they need a break from quote, “the state of chaos” that was the governor’s recall election. She said her group would have spent all its efforts on the Senate race if they didn’t have to defend the governor. In Milholland’s words, “The recall sucked the air out of the room.” Waukesha salesman Keith Best says he’s undecided because all four G-O-P Senate hopefuls – Tommy Thompson, Eric Hovde, Mark Neumann, and Jeff Fitzgerald – are good, strong choices. And Best said he won’t make his mind until he gets in the voting booth. The winner faces House Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November. And a hot campaign has been taking place for Baldwin’s replacement in the House. Four Democrats are running, and the two leaders are state Representatives Mark Pocan and Kelda Helen Roys. A number of state legislative primaries are also on the docket, for a primary that’s being held a month earlier than in the past. The federal government ordered the change to make sure overseas voters cast their November ballots in time.
As you might expect, Wisconsin's Paul Ryan was Topic-One on the Sunday T-V political shows. On A-B-C's "This Week," Tim Pawlenty -- who was also under consideration as Mitt Romney's running mate -- said he was not disappointed that Romney didn't pick him. Pawlenty said Ryan has quote, "an adult approach to solving the nation's problems -- and you don't see that from the president and his team." On N-B-C's "Meet the Press," Governor Scott Walker said Ryan relates well to voters across the political spectrum. And the Republican Walker said the Janesville congressman would be a quote, "game-changer." Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota said on C-N-N's "State of the Union" said Ryan's leadership is what Americans hunger for. Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod went on all three shows to say the choice of Ryan should be troubling to quote, "the middle class, seniors, and students." And Axelrod said the choice of Ryan would only be a booster shot within his own Republican party. Former Democratic White House hopeful Howard Dean said the Romney-Ryan ticket will give Americans "a real choice." Dean -- a former Vermont governor -- said Romney was trying to move toward the middle but quote, "Ryan makes it almost impossible for him to do that."
The new Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will branch off today, after appearing together in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Virginia this weekend. The Janesville congressman will campaign at the Iowa State Fair, while Romney continues a bus tour in Florida. On C-B-S’s “60 Minutes” last night, the two said they would split apart often during the campaign, spreading their message to as much of the country as possible. They used the T-V appearance to help define the House Budget Chairman before Democrats could negatively do it for him. A poll from the Comparative Campaign Analysis project showed that 43-percent of Americans never heard of Ryan. Romney also tried to distance himself from the budget-slashing proposals and Medicare cutbacks crafted by Ryan in each of the last two years. Romney said yesterday quote, “I have my budget plan – and that’s the budget plan we’re going to run on.” But Obama made it clear that Democrats would try to highlight the two Ryan budget plans as being bad for America. At fund-raisers in Chicago yesterday, the president called Ryan the “ideological leader” of the Republicans. Obama called Ryan a decent family man and an articulate spokesman for Romney’s vision. But the Democratic president said quote, “It is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with.” Ryan also said on “60 Minutes” that if he loses the vice presidency, he plans to return to his current House seat in January – and his name will stay on the ballot for that post in November.
Paul Ryan told about 10-thousand supporters in Waukesha last night that voters will have a stark choice in November. The Janesville congressman said it was “good to be home” after Republican Mitt Romney named him as his vice-presidential running mate on Saturday in Virginia. Romney told the Waukesha crowd that President Obama wants the “lowest, meanest negative campaign in history” – and he and Ryan won’t let that happen. Ryan said Americans will decide whether they want a society of opportunity where people can get ahead and make the most of their lives – or if they want to quote, “copy Europe” and go down a path of “debt, doubt, and despair.” Ryan said he wants to earn the voters’ support, and to win because people want him and Romney to quote, “go fix the mess in Washington.” Ryan also promised to be true to his Wisconsin roots. He said his family still lives on the same block where he grew up in Janesville. Romney appeared energized by his running mate. He brushed off a heckler near the stage by saying quote, “You ought to find a different place to be disruptive because here, we believe in listening to people with dignity and respect.” Today, Ryan and Romney will branch off. Ryan will campaign in Iowa, while Romney hits the stump in Florida.
Mitt Romney’s staff warned him it would be risky to choose Paul Ryan as his running mate, considering the controversy from Ryan’s plans to scale back Medicare and other federal spending. But Romney thought the chance was worth taking. And senior adviser Beth Myers said it was Romney alone who made the choice. Myers spilled the beans in Dallas over the weekend about the immense secrecy that surrounded the selection of the Janesville congressman. She said the deal was sealed last Monday, when Ryan snuck through a Chicago airport in a baseball cap and flew to New England – where an adviser's son drove the House Budget Chairman to his parents' dining room where Romney made his final choice. On C-B-S’s “60 Minutes” last night, Romney said he nailed down his final choice even earlier, back on August first. Romney said Ryan was always his Number-One man – and he considered others just to be sure. On Friday, Myers said Ryan was cutting through the woods behind his home to avoid a reporter out front. By then, some national media outlets were already reporting that he was chosen. Still, Ryan hid in a hotel room on Friday night, where he wrote the speech he delivered Saturday on the U-S-S Wisconsin in Virginia, where Romney introduced him.