The Fix: paul ryan

Undecided on his future, Paul Ryan refines his message

Congress may be on recess for the next two weeks, but that doesn’t mean legislators’ political maneuvering has ceased. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the budget committee chairman and 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, spoke in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Friday, headlining a fundraising dinner.

Keep an eye on Ryan, who is undecided on his political future, as he recasts his political persona, moving away from being the budget-cutting wonk of 2012 and embracing the model of his late mentor, Jack Kemp, who was once the GOP’s leading voice on poverty. The fiscal warrior of years past isn’t necessarily gone, but it’s not all Ryan wants to be.

Sunday show roundup: Focus on Christie and immigration reform

Sunday show roundup: Focus on Christie and immigration reform

The revival of immigration reform and allegations that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) knew more than he let on about the alleged politics behind bridge lane closures in his state were the key items of interest on the Sunday morning political talk shows.

The scandal swirling around Christie escalated late last week when the lawyer for a former New Jersey official said "evidence exists" that shows Christie knew about the lane closures as they happened. But key Republicans said it's too soon to demand that Christie step down as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which raised $50 million last year.

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Mitt Romney makes campaign contribution to Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan raises $600,000+ in first quarter

Paul Ryan: Budget blueprint will promote repealing health care law

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that the budget blueprint he plans to unveil later this week will promote repealing President Obama's signature health care law.

"Yes, our budget does promote repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a better system," Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday."

Past House Republican efforts to repeal the president's health care law have failed and the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of law last year.

On Thursday, Ryan lunched at the White House with Obama and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. Ryan said Sunday that only time will tell how effective the president's recent outreach to him and other congressional Republicans will be.

"The proof will be in the coming weeks as to whether or not it is a real sincere outreach to find common ground," Ryan said.

Paul Ryan: 'I have no plans to be in House elected leadership'

Paul Ryan: 'I have no plans to be in House elected leadership'

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Sunday that he has no plans to pursue an elected leadership position in the House and that he is much better suited for policy leadership.

"I have no plans to be in House elected leadership," the House Budget Committee chairman said on "Fox News Sunday." "If I wanted to be in elected leadership like speaker, I would have run for these jobs years ago. I've always believed the better place for me is policy leadership -- like being a chairman."

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Why Paul Ryan and President Obama lunched this week, and why it matters

Why Paul Ryan and President Obama lunched this week, and why it matters

Earlier this week, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, one half of the Republican ticket that tried to oust President Obama last year and the man whose budget blueprint was a consistent target of Democratic criticism in the campaign, sat down for lunch at the White House with President Obama.

An odd pairing? Yes. But, the Obama-Ryan huddle isn't all that surprising for two reasons. One, Ryan is a very influential -- and high profile -- voice in an often unruly House GOP Conference. And two, he's been talking about dealing with the practical realities of divided government quite a bit since the election.

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In today's GOP, Paul Ryan is middle-of-the-road

In today's GOP, Paul Ryan is middle-of-the-road

When Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was picked as Mitt Romney's running mate last August, conservatives rejoiced.

Ryan, after all, is known as a conservative's conservative, having authored the GOP budget that contained trillions in spending cuts and major entitlement reform. By picking Ryan, the logic went, Romney was making a bold choice in the name of shoring up the GOP base.

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Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio blaze different 2016 trails on 'fiscal cliff'

Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio blaze different 2016 trails on 'fiscal cliff'

The first big vote of the 2016 presidential race was held Tuesday: the "fiscal cliff."

One major GOP contender, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), voted no on the package, while another, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), voted yes. And the votes may provide some insight into their potential 2016 strategies.

(We should also note that a third potential candidate, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, voted no with Rubio.)

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Joe Biden’s greatest (and not-so-greatest) debate hits

Joe Biden’s greatest (and not-so-greatest) debate hits

It’s no secret that Vice President Joe Biden has a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth. And looking ahead to Thursday’s debate, one of the big questions has to be whether Biden will steal the spotlight for saying something controversial.

But before looking forward, it’s worth looking back at Biden’s previous debate performances — of which there are plenty to choose from. There are moments Biden can reflect on with pride, and others he might want to forget. Below is our rundown of his five most memorable debate moments (and for more on Biden’s debate tendencies, check out this video from the Post’s Karen Tumulty): 

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Paul Ryan: Base hero? Swing voter magnet? Both?

Paul Ryan: Base hero? Swing voter magnet? Both?

Welcome mats are still out for Joe Biden and Paul Ryan in marquee swing states, according to a trio of Washington Post polls. But the polls in Florida, Ohio and Virginia find Ryan is better positioned than Biden to energize activists and woo persuadable voters. 



Biden’s jocular image has earned the vice president a net positive reaction: About half of voters in Florida, Ohio and Virginia have favorable views of him, while negative ratings sit in the low 40s. Ryan is less well known, but his ratings in these states also tilt positive with slightly more offering favorable than unfavorable reviews. Ryan’s lack of familiarity signals an opportunity to make a good first impression, and one that is less open to Biden after four years in office.

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Did Paul Ryan bend the truth? And does it matter?

Did Paul Ryan bend the truth? And does it matter?

TAMPA — Republicans have accused President Obama of trading in his message of hope and change for Chicago-style politics.

But their own new vice presidential pick also took a step down from the political high road on Wednesday night, or at least exposed himself to criticism of playing fast and loose with the facts.

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Paul Ryan’s stimulus problem

Paul Ryan’s stimulus problem

Updated at 6:10 p.m. with response from Romney campaign.

Paul Ryan says his office mishandled constituent requests for stimulus funding, which is why he claimed to have never requested stimulus funds even as the documents told a different story.

The GOP’s new vice presidential candidate has said repeatedly that he has never asked for stimulus funds, but recent reports indicate he has written letters on behalf of local businesses seeking them.

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Why Romney is distancing himself from Ryan’s Medicare cuts

In his first one-on-one interview since announcing Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney sought to put some distance between himself and Ryan’s Medicare proposal.

Echoing his rhetoric on the campaign trail in recent days, Romney emphasized that he is the leader of the GOP ticket and that he does not agree with the Medicare cuts in Ryan’s budget — which are similar to the cuts in President Obama’s health care bill.

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Congress’ record unpopularity — and what it means for Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney

Congress’ record unpopularity — and what it means for Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney

That just one in 10 Americans approve of the job Congress is doing in new Gallup polling — the lowest ebb for the institution in nearly four decades — is nothing new. After all, congressional approval hasn’t crested 20 percent in more than a year.



What is new, however, is that Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate is a 14-year veteran of Congress and currently chairs the House Budget Committee.

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Paul Ryan and the Catholic vote -- in 1 chart and 1 map

Paul Ryan and the Catholic vote -- in 1 chart and 1 map

Overlooked in all of the hubbub over Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's selection as the Republican vice presidential nominee -- Medicare! Ryan budget! Shirtless! -- is the fact that Ryan is a practicing Catholic.

That's potentially important this fall -- for two reasons.

First, as we have repeatedly written, the Catholic vote have proven to be perhaps the most reliable barometer of the overall national vote in a slew of recent presidential elections.

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Paul Ryan and the Catholic vote — in 1 chart and 1 map

Paul Ryan and the Catholic vote — in 1 chart and 1 map

Overlooked in all of the hubbub over Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s selection as the Republican vice presidential nominee — Medicare! Ryan budget! Shirtless! — is the fact that Ryan is a practicing Catholic.

That’s potentially important this fall — for two reasons.

First, as we have repeatedly written, the Catholic vote have proven to be perhaps the most reliable barometer of the overall national vote in a slew of recent presidential elections.

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GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

Republican Senate candidates in some marquee races say they would be happy to campaign with the GOP's new vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

But others are apparently resistant to the idea.

Democrats have attempted to attach Ryan and his plan to Republicans all over the country, labeling Ryan their "running mate" and hoping his controversial Medicare plan hurts downballot GOPers.

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GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

Republican Senate candidates in some marquee races say they would be happy to campaign with the GOP’s new vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

But others are apparently resistant to the idea.

Democrats have attempted to attach Ryan and his plan to Republicans all over the country, labeling Ryan their “running mate” and hoping his controversial Medicare plan hurts downballot GOPers.

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Fix Veep Pick ‘Em Contest

Fix Veep Pick ‘Em Contest

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was only the fourth most popular pick among Fix readers in the Veepstakes pick ’em pool we ran last month.

High-fives all around for the Fix Veepstakes pick ‘em contest winners.

Sens. Marco Rubio (Fl.) and Rob Portman (Ohio) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty were all favored over Ryan in our informal poll, and no o ne correctly guessed Ryan would be named to the ticket on Aug. 11.

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5 races where Paul Ryan could matter

Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate is a decision that will impact congressional races this fall. Of that we are certain.

But, where might Ryan on the national ticket grow into a major issue? Based on demographic data, history and the candidates running, below are five races in which the Ryan ripple effect is worth watching in the fall.


Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) could face another race in which Medicare is a central issue. (Harry Scull Jr - AP)

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How Paul Ryan impacts the electoral map. Or doesn’t.

The word “game-changer” is being thrown around quite a bit in regards Mitt Romney’s selection as Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate over the weekend.

And there is a case to be made — and Republicans will make it — that Ryan re-focuses the election on the need for big ideas and hard truths.

But, does Ryan really change the game as it relates to the race for 270 electoral votes? Not really, according to our latest look at the Fix’s electoral map.

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Positive views of Ryan jump higher after pick

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan — the freshly minted Republican vice presidential candidate — got an immediate ratings boost in the wake of his selection as Mitt Romney’s running-mate, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.


Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., gives a thumbs-up at a rally Sunday, August 12, 2012, in Mooresville, N.C., at the NASCAR Technical Institute. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)
Little known nationally before Saturday’s announcement, favorable impressions of Ryan jumped 15 percentage points among the overall electorate with positive views soaring from 49 to 70 percent among conservative Republicans.

In Wednesday through Friday interviews, fully 45 percent of Americans expressed no opinion of Ryan, dropping to 30 percent on Saturday and Sunday. The increasing familiarity all went to the positive side of the ledger, giving Ryan an initial advantage in the sprint to define his candidacy.

Overall, in interviews after his selection, 38 percent of all Americans express favorable views of Ryan, 33 percent negative ones. (Before the the announcement, Ryan was somewhat underwater, scoring 23 percent favorable, 32 unfavorable.) The most recent national numbers on Vice President Joe Biden are from a July Pew Research Center poll showing a split decision, 40 percent favorable, 37 percent unfavorable.

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Paul Ryan pick is less popular than Palin, Cheney selections, poll shows

Rep. Paul Ryan starts his vice presidential campaign in not-so-great territory, with Americans rating his selection more unfavorably than any pick since at least 2000, according to a new poll.

The USA Today/Gallup poll shows 42 percent rate Mitt Romney’s selection of Ryan (R-Wis.) as “fair” or “poor,” while 39 percent rate it as “excellent” or “pretty good.”

Those numbers are worse than the initial reactions to both Dick Cheney in 2000 and Sarah Palin in 2008. And they appear to be the worst since Dan Quayle in 1988 (according to a different pollster). All three Republicans wound up being very unpopular in the following years.

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The 25-day fight to define Paul Ryan

In 25 days, we’ll likely know whether Mitt Romney picking Paul Ryan was a savvy strategy to make the November election about big ideas or a fizzled failure that collapsed under the weight of the controversial budget proposals put forward by the Wisconsin Republican.

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Five issues where Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan differ

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are joining forces to try and return the Republican Party to power in Washington.

But, as with any newly formed team, there have been times when and issues on which they haven’t been on the same page.

There don’t appear to be many major policy differences between the two men, but here are five worth noting:

1. The auto bailout

Ryan supported the auto bailout four years ago, while Romney opposed it.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks alongside his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, during a campaign rally at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C., on Sunday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

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Paul Ryan’s budget: Democrats’ ace in the hole?

Conservatives will be thrilled with the selection of their favored pick, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), as Mitt Romney’s running mate, but Democratic campaign operatives may be just as excited.

Democrats have gotten significant mileage out of attacking the budget Ryan has proposed as chairman of the House Budget Committee, particularly the portion of it that would turn Medicare into a voucher program.

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Winners and losers from the Paul Ryan VP pick

For the better part of the last two months — and for some of us far longer than that — the Republican vice presidential sweepstakes has dominated the thought of any political junkie worth his or her name.

Now that we know the identity of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick — it’s Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, in case you have been in a news blackout since Friday night — the last major piece of the 2012 presidential puzzle has been fit into place.

Given the high stakes of the veepstakes, now that it’s over we thought it would be worth sorting through the entrails to come up with some winners and, of course, some losers from the process that was.

Our picks are after the jump. Have some winners/losers of your own? The comments section awaits.

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Mitt Romney goes bold (and risky) with Paul Ryan vice presidential pick

The news that Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee today in Norfolk, Virginia amounts to a decidedly bold stroke for the typical risk-averse GOP presidential candidate, a pick that will almost certainly turn the race into a choice between two competing — and strikingly contrasting — visions for the country.

Ryan, a seven term Congressman from Wisconsin, has emerged from (relative) obscurity in the last several years to become the intellectual and policy center of the Republican party thanks in large part to the budget proposal he has offered that would, among other things, fundamentally re-shape Medicare and other social safety net programs in an attempt to get the country’s fiscal house in order.

While that proposal has won him kudos among Republicans, it’s turned him into something of a whipping boy for Democrats, who insist that Ryan’s budget is not only bad policy but also bad politics. In fact, Democrats were openly rooting for Romney to pick Ryan as his VP over the past week, believing that it could well help their efforts to keep control of the Senate and win back the House in November.

In naming Ryan to the national ticket, Romney is sending a simple message to those Democrats: Bring it.

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The Fix’s Final Five Republican VP picks

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney continues to offer few clues about the identity of his vice presidential pick or the timing of the announcement — “I don’t think I have anything for you on the VP running mate,” Romney told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Thursday — but with the Republican National Convention just 17 days away, we know the decision is close.


U.S. representative (R-WI) Paul Ryan attends a vigil in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, August 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress

Despite the tight-lippedness (is that a word?) of Romneyworld when it comes to the veepstakes, it does now appear that the short list is getting shorter.

Below are our rankings of the five men — yes, they are all men — most likely to get the nod from Romney. These rankings are a combination of reporting, buzz and gut — all in relatively equal measure.

The number one ranked candidate is considered Romney’s most likely VP pick. To the Line!

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The vice presidential pick is overrated. Here’s why.

The political world — up to and including this blog — is consumed at the moment with trying to divine the identity of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick. Travel schedules are pored over, public statements are parsed, Wikipedia is consulted.


Lyndon B. Johnson (second from left), the last VP pick that really mattered - CREDIT: ASSOCIATED PRESS.
Given that level of attention, you would think that the pick is of the utmost importance in the presidential race, that a look back at past picks reveals make or break moments centered on the identity of the presidential nominee’s ticketmate.

Not so much.

The simple reality is that the vice presidential pick — viewed through the lens of recent history — has almost no broad influence on the fate of the ticket and, to the extent the VP choice has mattered, it’s been in a negative way.

“VP picks can provide a temporary burst of excitement to a ticket, but pretty soon things settle down and the race is once again about the man at the top,” said Ari Fleischer, a former Bush Administration official. “With communications reaching everywhere for the last few decades, the race is about the presidency, not the vice-presidency.”

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The case for Paul Ryan to be vice president

Welcome to the Paul Ryan vice presidential boomlet.

In the past 48 hours or so, talk of the Wisconsin Republican Congressman as Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president has surged — largely due to a piece written in the Weekly Standard urging the GOP presidential nominee to choose Ryan.

Ryan has been a mainstay on our Veepstakes Line — in which we rank the top contenders to be Romney’s pick — for months, and in our last list he was our #3 choice behind only Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty .

With so much chatter about Ryan, we thought now was a good time to make our cases for and against him to be Romney’s ticketmate. We tackle the case for Ryan today and the case against him later in the week.

(And make sure to check out our cases for and against Portman and for and against Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for vice president.)

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Jim DeMint conducts his own VP search

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who has built a political brand for himself in recent years by searching out conservative GOP Senate candidates, is now sticking his nose in the GOP vice presidential search.

DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund is hosting a poll on its website asking supporters who they would like to see as the party’s No. 2 on the ticket this fall, using The Fix’s list of the 10 frontrunners in the so-called “veepstakes.”

And at least so far, the results aren’t close.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) speaks in Washington last October. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

With 3,000 votes (and counting) in, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is the clear leader with more than 40 percent of the vote, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is second with 23 percent, according to results provided to The Fix.

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Paul Ryan’s rapidly-improving vice presidential prospects

Paul Ryan’s rapidly-improving vice presidential prospects

When we did our inaugural rankings of the ten men and women most likely to wind up as former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate this fall, we had Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan ranked 10th.

Within seconds, we received a slew of emails, Tweets and Facebook messages from people — political professionals and not — insisting that Ryan was ranked far too low.

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What Obama meant by ‘social Darwinism’

In his speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors Tuesday, President Obama called the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) “thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

What does that mean?

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