A roundup of early reaction to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate:
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who was once considered a leading candidate for the job:
“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 & Means Committee.
“Jane and I wish Paul and Janna and their kids the very best. As the Chairman of the Romney campaign in Ohio, I look forward to working with Paul to ensure that the Romney-Ryan ticket carries Ohio and is victorious in November. Most importantly, as a member of the Senate, I look forward to working closely with a Romney-Ryan Administration to restore fiscal sanity and enact pro-growth policies to create jobs.”
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, another of the leading candidates for the post: “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.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another vice presidential contender:
“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.”
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was also at one point considered a candidate for the job:
“We now officially have a Dream Team of solutions: Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan! Both of these men understand it’s not about complaining and blaming, but producing results for the people of our great country. The race is on: Romney/Ryan vs Obama/Biden.”
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R):
“I applaud Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. Congressman Ryan’s command of economic policy and the federal budget will prove invaluable as Governor Romney fights to reform government, accelerate job growth and rein in the out-of-control spending that has been a hallmark of President Obama’s years in office. This courageous choice is the type of leadership American voters deserve. And, I believe it will ensure a victory for the Romney-Ryan ticket this November.”
Former President George W. Bush:
This is a strong pick. Governor Romney is serious about confronting the long-term challenges facing America and Paul Ryan will help him solve the difficult issues that must be addressed for future generations.
President Obama’s 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. The architect of the radical Republican House budget, Ryan, like Romney, proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors. 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.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.):
“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 that 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 (D-Calif.):
“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.
“As Democrats, we will always preserve Medicare, strengthen the middle class and work to reignite the American Dream by building ladders of opportunity for all those who work hard and play by the rules. The choice Americans are facing could not be more clear.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.):
Governor Romney and Representative Ryan are the strongest team to return America to prosperity and to defend our interests abroad. Paul Ryan has proven that he is fully prepared to address our nation's economic challenges, which have only worsened over the last four years under the Obama-Biden Administration. I look forward to working for the election of the Romney-Ryan team this fall.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio):
“Paul Ryan is a reformer and a proven leader who will be a great partner to Governor Romney in his efforts to get our country, and our economy, back on track. At a time when millions of Americans are still looking at President Obama’s policies and asking ‘where are the jobs?’ Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney will focus on common sense solutions to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have and get the federal government out of the way of small business job creators.
“I’m proud to call Paul Ryan a friend, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that he and Mitt Romney - along with our entire Republican ticket - are well positioned to win in November.”
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine):
“Paul Ryan has extraordinary knowledge of the federal budget and deficit, which is important to tackling the $16 trillion debt burdening our country’s economy and taxpayers. While I did not support Congressman Ryan’s budget proposals, I give him enormous credit for taking on this significant issue, something the President regrettably has failed to do.”
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel:
“For weeks, there’s been speculation about who Gov. Romney would choose to be his running mate and what it would mean. And now we have our answer. By selecting Ryan, Romney has doubled down on his view that opportunity is only for those who can afford it or are willing to game the system. He’s shown yet again that he is more willing to help the rich get richer than ensuring middle class families get ahead.
“Ryan’s position on fundamental education issues like funding for early childhood education and efforts to keep class sizes small don’t speak to ensuring that every child in this country gets a quality education, it continues Romney’s misguided and out of touch mentality that class size doesn’t matter and children should get as much education as they can ‘afford’. Elections are about choices, and Governor Romney’s VP selection indicates that once again he chose the corporate fat cats and Wall Street barons over students, teachers, bus drivers, nurses and secretaries. The three million members of NEA know you can’t put Americans back to work by cutting jobs, educate our kids by laying off teachers, or level the playing field for small businesses by rigging it in favor of big corporations.
“Ryan was the architect of the budget plan that would have gutted Medicare and converted it to a voucher program. Ryan and Romney have shown over and over again that they are willing to run up trillion-dollar deficits to help the rich get richer while undercutting opportunity for middle class families.
“These are the positions and policies of Governor Romney. And so NEA members know enough to know that a Romney-Ryan administration is bad for our students, families and the wrong direction for America.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
“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.”
VIDEO: The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza provides the essential details on Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.