Mitt Romney’s running mate, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, may not be the conservative “boat rocker” some conservatives and Tea Partiers were hoping for.
However, what Paul Ryan brings to the battle with President Obama is something that has been sorely lacking in the Romney campaign -- a zest for intellectual combat with Obama on the Democrats' destructive spending, deficits, and debt -- and an unmatched command of the facts related to it.
Paul Ryan is not going to make the kind of dopey mistakes Romney’s spokesmen do when asked a question that calls for a sound conservative answer about Obama’s spending, deficits and debt.
What’s more, Ryan has a record of taking on Obama, arguing the conservative perspective, and coming out ahead.
Ryan served on Obama’s Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission and did an excellent job framing the opposition to its tax-raising recommendations.
Paul Ryan also had a memorable debate with Obama at the 2010 House Republican Retreat in Baltimore. See the clip here http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/3698444
Ryan set-up the debate by noting to President Obama that, “The spending bills that you've signed into law, the domestic discretionary spending has been increased by 84 percent. You now want to freeze spending at this elevated [level] beginning next year. This means that total spending in your budget would grow at 3/100ths of 1 percent less than otherwise. I would simply submit that we could do more and start now.”
Obama tried to push back by claiming “…that most of the increases in this year's budget, this past year's budget, were not as a consequence of policies that we [Obama] initiated but instead were built in as a consequence of the automatic stabilizers that kick in because of this enormous recession. So the increase in the budget for this past year was actually predicted before I was even sworn into office…”
All too often Republicans and the Romney campaign have let such lies about Obama’s spending binge go unanswered, but in 2010 Paul Ryan was having none of Obama’s budget baloney.
Ryan quickly nailed Obama by noting, “I would simply say that automatic stabilizer spending is mandatory spending. The discretionary spending, the bills that Congress signs that you sign into law, that has increased 84 percent.”
Obama was left squirming saying, “We'll have a longer debate on the budget numbers, all right?”
The time for that “longer debate” is now, and with Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential nominee, the debate isn’t going to go well for Obama.
As we have said before, Paul Ryan knows Obama's spending problem better than anyone. If by choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate Governor Romney is signaling that he plans to make Obama's spending, deficits and debt a centerpiece of his campaign, then Paul Ryan's selection is a good sign to conservatives that the campaign is headed in the right direction. All we ask now is that Governor Romney turn Ryan loose sooner rather than later.