State Political News: Ryan officially becomes GOP vice-presidential nomineeWisconsin News
-- Paul Ryan will try to sell Mitt Romney to the skeptics, and himself to the uninitiated, when he speaks tonight at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
TAMPA - Paul Ryan will try to sell Mitt Romney to the skeptics, and himself to the uninitiated, when he speaks tonight at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
The House Budget chairman from Janesville was nominated by the delegates yesterday to be Romney’s vice presidential running mate by acclamation. Former state GOP chairman Steve King moved to nominate Ryan. He said tonight’s address hopes to quote, “introduce Paul Ryan to the world.” Millions around the country don’t know him – and a recent Marquette University poll showed that almost a quarter of Wisconsin voters don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. But to the politically-attuned, Ryan’s a policy pro and a lightning rod with his budget plans to slash federal spending and eventually reduce Medicare benefits to try and keep the program afloat.
One of Ryan’s closest friends, Governor Scott Walker, calls Ryan an asset to Romney for both his policies and his personality – and he can help the ticket create a more human connection with voters.
At a forum held by ABC News and Yahoo, Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said the 42-year-old Ryan will be exciting to young people as the first Generation-“X” member to be on a presidential ticket. Fehrnstrom said everything about Ryan speaks to middle-class values. The adviser noted that Ryan went to a public college, and led his family at 16 after his father passed away. And Fehrnstrom said Ryan’s Catholic values will be important in swing states like Wisconsin and Ohio. Also, with 14 years in Congress, the adviser said Ryan’s governing ability makes him a complement to Romney’s long-time experience in the private sector.
Governor Scott Walker got rousing ovations twice last evening at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. First, he was interrupted by a minute-long ovation when he announced Wisconsin’s votes for president during the roll call of the states. Then last night, Walker got long-and-loud applause when he joined six other governors in a series of short speeches. The governor briefly described his recall election battle, saying quote, “The hard-working taxpayers won” on June 5th. He also praised the GOP ticket of Mitt Romney and his good friend and Janesville congressman Paul Ryan. Walker said that with the choice of Ryan, the “R” next to Romney’s name quote, “doesn’t just stand for Republican – It stands for reformer.” And the governor said the pick showed that Romney has the quote, “courage and passion to be an exceptional president.” State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate said the “R” actually stands for quote, “Return – A return to the very same failed economic policies that crashed the economy in the first place.”
Walker said it felt “a little surreal” to be interrupted by loud cheers as he was trying to cast Wisconsin’s votes for president during the roll call. He touted the state as the home of the National Football League’s MVP in Aaron Rodgers, Major League Baseball’s MVP in Ryan Braun, Miss America Laura Kaeppeler, Republican national chairman Reince Priebus, and most importantly, Paul Ryan. Walker called him quote, “the bravest person I know in politics, the most courageous and yet the most decent – the next vice-president of the United States.” The governor then cast 41 votes for Romney and one for Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
Earlier yesterday, Walker had trouble in his hotel suite when the toilet overflowed and the bathtub backed up. He later told Alabama’s delegation in a breakfast speech quote, “We’re Republicans. We fix things. It’s no problem.
Governor Scott Walker says he believes that neighboring Minnesota will join Wisconsin and Iowa as battleground states in the presidential election. At the Republican National Convention yesterday, Walker told the Minnesota delegation that Mitt Romney’s choice of Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan for vice-president will make the ticket more appealing to the Gopher State’s voters. Many pundits have Minnesota leaning toward President Obama, while Wisconsin and Iowa are up for grabs. The Democrat Obama had led by as many as seven points in Wisconsin – but since Janesville Congressman Ryan was added to the ticket, the major polls have Obama and Romney in statistical dead heats. Walker told Minnesota Republicans that Ryan is brilliant, courageous, and decent. But the governor said Ryan’s selection says even more about Romney – because it shows he’s willing to make tough decisions. And Walker said that if Minnesota Republicans get behind the Romney-Ryan ticket quote, “We’re going to win.” Walker’s trying to get Wisconsin to send a Republican to the White House for the first time since 1984, but Minnesota’s GOP has had an even longer drought. Democrats have carried the Gopher State in every presidential contest since 1972. Minnesota’s delegates overwhelmingly voted for Ron Paul yesterday.
Wausau area House Republican Sean Duffy told Republican convention delegates this afternoon that America is trudging through the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Duffy, a first-term lawmaker, said record unemployment was dashing children’s dreams. He called it a quote, “shameful” legacy – and he called Mitt Romney and Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan a quote, “dream ticket that will end the Obama economic nightmare.” Duffy was among a number of House members and candidates to speak on the convention’s first full day. He was introduced as being a “former World Champion Lumberjack” – a title he held in Hayward before serving as Ashland County’s chief prosecutor, and then as David Obey’s replacement in Congress. After the congressional addresses, delegates considered the party’s platform and some other business. And late this afternoon, the states began voting to nominate Romney as the GOP’s presidential nominee – and Janesville’s Ryan as the party’s vice-presidential choice.
A top Republican has criticized state election officials for letting those who register at the polls next month use computer records to prove where they live. The Government Accountability Board agreed yesterday to let poll workers accept bank statements and utility bills from computer screens and smart-phones as proof of residency. But Assembly Republican Finance Chairman Robin Vos of Burlington says those records are sent by e-mails, which could be more easily forged or tampered with. And Vos said the Board is again showing quote, “They do not share the public’s concern that voter integrity is maintained throughout the process.” But some officials told the Board that hard copies can also be forged – and records directly from bank and government Web sites would actually be harder to tamper with. A number of college students have told the Board that they do all of their business online – and one of the Board members, retired Judge Thomas Cane, said he no longer gets paper bills or statements at his home, either. Board staffers recommended that the issue be delayed until after November – but the members said they were not “dinosaurs,” and they voted unanimously to allow the computer records as proof of residency.