Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced that Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is his running mate and choice for vice president of the United States. The crowd went absolutely wild, and with good reason.
It isn’t often that a policy wonk like Ryan makes it front-and-center like this, but the timing couldn’t be better. The economy is the issue of this election – rising unemployment, exploding entitlement costs, three years without a federal budget, a deficit beyond imagining. Congressman Ryan’s presence in the campaign makes all of these issues easier for Republicans to talk about, because since he was first elected in 1999, these have been Congressman Ryan’s issues. He’s been a leader on entitlement reform, he was the architect of the Republican budget plan last year. He’s the youngest chairman ever of the House Budget Committee, and he’s the most fiscally conservative by a long shot.
We need a national conversation about the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act that is serious, and addresses the concerns of everyday Americans. Congressman Ryan is capable of that, and has proven it. We need a national conversation about real entitlement reform. Congressman Ryan is capable of that, and has proven it.
This is the kind of economic sense that this country needs, and it will take leadership from a new generation of fiscal conservatives. Clearly, Congressman Ryan is one of the leaders of that group, and his elevation today to vice presidential candidate put real fiscal responsibility at the forefront of the national conversation for the first time in a really long time.