Rep. Paul Ryan’s Journey To The Right
Rep. Paul Ryan’s Journey To The Right, As Romney’s running mate, the congressman would add conservative heft to the campaign. Romney VP pick Ryan’s main mission: Cut the budget, Gov. Mitt Romney will announce Saturday morning that he’s chosen 42-year-old Paul Ryan to be his running mate. Since 2008, the well-spoken Republican Congressman from Janesville, Wisconsin has emerged as a leading figure on the right and a champion of reduced government spending.
Ryan, who is serving his seventh term in Congress, has earned the admiration of conservatives for the tough, government-slashing budget proposals he’s put forward since becoming chairman of the House Budget Committee last year. But when he first arrived in Washington as a freshman lawmaker in 1999 at only 28 years old, budget shrinking wasn’t exactly in style.
Ryan told the New Yorker that he was “miserable” during the George W. Bush years, when a Republican-majority Congress added $5 trillion to the debt in war spending, bank bailout, tax cuts, and other costs. But Ryan also tended to vote with the majority at that time, though he put forward unsuccessful proposals to privatize Social Security and made other budget-shrinking suggestions.
In 2008, he released his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” which described his sweeping vision for how to make America’s main entitlement programs of Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid solvent. The plan made him a hero among conservative circles, and Ryan eventually remade it as his “Path to Prosperity” plan, which President Obama and Democrats have criticized for embracing tax cuts while cutting government programs that help the poor. (It wasn’t just Democrats who criticized Ryan. While running for president, Newt Gingrich called Ryan’s plan “right wing social engineering,” which probably helped kill Gingrich’s bid.)
President Obama actually helped raise Ryan’s profile on the right by critiquing the Congressman’s budget, and just last year, Ryan was reportedly mulling his own run for president.