Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney introduced Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate this past weekend, and nearly 50 percent of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll give his choice an “A” grade.
Ryan, a six-term congressman who first won his seat at age 28, is chairman of the House Budget Committee. He introduced the GOP’s Path to Prosperity budget proposals, commonly known as the Ryan plan.
Romney’s pick garnered an A or B from 63 percent of readers, compared with 25 percent who gave him an F or D.
In 2008, John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin earned him an A from 27 percent and a B from 18 percent. But 23 percent graded his selection an F, and 20 percent gave him a D.
When asked in 2008 about Barack Obama’s choice of Sen. Joseph Biden, 40 percent of respondents gave Democratic nominee Obama an A for his pick; 23 percent graded his choice a B. Twenty percent gave his choice a D or F.
Roughly 850 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Aug. 13 and 14.
Thirty-nine percent identified their political affiliation as Republican, compared with 36 percent in the 2008 poll. More Democrats (29 percent versus 20 percent) participated in the 2008 poll than in this week’s poll.
How would you grade Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick?
Does Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate make you more likely or less likely to vote for the Republican ticket in November?
More likely: 43%
Less likely: 31%
Neither more nor less likely: 26%
What is your political affiliation?
Couldn’t have picked a better person.
Perfect example of a leader who knows what our country’s biggest problem is and selects the best and brightest people to really solve that problem.
Paul Ryan has made this contest a clear choice. While Romney has flip-flopped and followed the political winds on health care, taxes, abortion and women’s health, Ryan has been consistently extreme on all those issues. It is unfortunate that he has voted to take my 22-year-old son off my health insurance, remove my sister-in-law, an ovarian cancer survivor (with obvious pre-existing conditions) from any reasonable health care coverage. He believes that the deficit can be reduced through additional tax reductions, especially for those among us who can afford to pay more taxes, and he has consistently waged a war on women’s health issues—from eliminating abortion rights to restricting the contraceptives that would help to further reduce our abortion rates. Many believe his deficit proposals would end Medicare (what appears to be a relatively efficient government program for the elderly) as we know it. With what Paul Ryan’s selection represents, I’m not supporting the Romney/Ryan ticket.
—Michael L. Harf
The choice of Ryan confirms Romney’s focus of fiscal responsibility. Hope the electorate can get away from the distracting campaign issues and back to the really important ones—less government and more personal and fiscal responsibility.
—Bev Dyminski, Interior Design
On one hand, Ryan makes me even less happy at the prospect of Romney’s winning. On the other, my hope is that the choice of Ryan will stimulate even more determined efforts by Obama’s backers, giving him the leading edge.
Let’s get the financial condition of this country moving in the right direction and people back to work. Biden and Obama have been unable to do this and like all losing teams don’t deserve another four years to see if they can improve. If Ryan and Romney can’t do it, then our children will have a difficult world facing them.
—Tom Nientimp, Victor
As a woman, I do not have the confidence in Romney and fear dependability in office. Obama has four years of experience in office and though I am not satisfied with some of his actions, he has not totally failed. The learning curve of a new president at this point is unacceptable.
—Dorothy Egan, Shortsville
I was very pleased to see Paul Ryan as the Republican VP pick. It shows me that Mitt Romney is serious about where he believes this country is currently headed. He did not pick a candidate just to curry favor with a certain ethnic, gender or geographic group.
This is a 1,000 percent better pick that the last Republican VP pick, Sarah Palin. I will vote for the Republican ticket if they adopt a tax reform policy that does not punish the average Joe and reward the rich ($250,000 and above).
By selecting Paul Ryan as his vice presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has affirmed that this election is about the economy as a referendum on the failed tax and spend policies of the Obama administration.
—Peter Gregory, Rochester
This choice was a gift to President Obama.
—Eve Elzenga, Eve Elzenga Design
Paul Ryan will bring logic to the table about fiscal responsibility. A lot of people don’t like him because he talks about what no one wants to hear, and that is the fact the U.S.A. is going bankrupt. It is time we face the music.
—Mike Kaser, Penfield
Paul Ryan is a breath of fresh air in the stagnant politics of Washington. He is bright, optimistic, honest, hardworking and believes in the American dream. His budget proposals may not be popular with our government-dependent society but are realistic and workable. Our nation needs to get real about debt and out-of-control government spending. Paul Ryan is our best hope of getting that across to the people of America. With Mitt Romney’s proven record of leadership and management, this is a great combination to lead America out of its economic morass.
—Jim Weisbeck, East Bloomfield
Romney had many excellent candidates to choose from for his veep pick. Boldly choosing Paul Ryan over a safer and more “politically correct” candidate shows his leadership and focus on long-term solutions over short-term politics. It sends a clear message that he understands that the key to avoiding a debt crisis a la Greece is making tough choices today. Now let’s just hope the voters also understand that!
—R. Canley, Fairport
Paul Ryan is fiscally conservative. I believe he is the perfect choice to lay out in detail just how badly Obama’s policies have failed, putting our country on the road to fiscal ruin. I hope this changes the tone of this election from Chicago-style dirty tricks to civil discourse on the problems we face that need solutions.
—George Thomas, Ogden
Classic Democrat smear campaign used on his budget proposal. I’m sure nobody in press actually read it. It made too much sense therefore he had to be destroyed.
Regardless of political affiliation, I encourage voter participation. Do a little research, get out to the polls and vote!
—Vinny Dallo, New York Life
Hawk of hawks, eating the sparrows and doves. The Republicans chose to pledge their allegiance to “no taxes” and the extreme rich—in writing. Apparently to them, their pledge to the “flag of the United States and the country it stands for” has been put by them into the dump. In the context, they threw out the notion that they have to care for everyone in the country. Ryan extended this view to financial warfare on the lower classes in favor of feeding the rich. Taking away the obligation to the retirees, unemployed, sick and destitute amounts to an effective tax increase. This also affects the middle-class. Now, Romney bowed down to this ruling plan for our Country. God help us.
—Ingo H. Leubner
Probably like Ryan more than Romney. Ryan seems to have a good head on his shoulders, learned at the hand of Jack Kemp, whom I respected. Overall good pick; he represents the next generation of our political leaders.
—Peter Short, J.J. Short Associates
Mr. Ryan is notably lacking in the same global experience component that characterizes Mr. Romney. Mr. Ryan's appeal is to the conservative wing of his party, a wing that is already committed to voting and contributing. In short, Mr. Ryan does little to help the party project a “big tent” vision that might win middle of the road independent voters. Ho Hum!
—Wayne Donner, Rush
Paul Ryan will challenge Democrats to acknowledge the cost of their ambitions. Ryan and Republicans propose big changes in existing social programs and strict limits on future government outlays, to make the operations of the welfare state compatible with the government’s revenues. Democrats who find this appalling can do one of three things: 1) persuade Americans to accept enormous tax increases; 2) offer an alternative plan, humane and enlightened, for the federal government to address social needs by spending no more than 19 percent of GDP; or 3) convince voters and the world’s lenders that a huge and permanently widening gap between federal revenues and spending is nothing to worry about (Europe anyone?). There is no fourth option.
—Peter Durant, Nixon Peabody LLP
It's about time we had someone who was willing to take on the costs of Medicare and be willing to bring out in the open for the public to understand the long-term ramifications. Both the Affordable Care Act and Paul Ryan's proposal offer both the same amount of projected “cuts”—$700 billion. They just go about it differently.
Representative Ryan is obviously a man of convictions and experience, someone who is articulate and has a brain (compare that with our current VP).
—Bob Worden, Penn Yan
Thank God he picked another right-wing whack job to go with him. A moderate choice might have given him a chance to win, but this way we're assured of a Democratic victory in November.
There are reasons to vote or not vote for any candidate—even candidates for which one will ultimately vote. Paul Ryan is a lightning rod for the reasons not to vote for Romney even though there are so many, many positive reasons to vote for Romney. I wish Romney would have found someone just as much of a deficit hawk, more moderate on social issues, and someone who could say that he/she was the one who could and would work with the other party in order to get something done. "Base" is getting to mean, "I am going to get what I want and you are going to get what I want, too."
Obama and Biden collectively have spent almost half a century in Congress and the administration. To claim that they did not know the true state of the fiscal mess we are in shows complete contempt for the American public or complete incompetence. We need a couple of adults running this country.
I believe that Paul Ryan is a great selection. He may just help us to get Mr. Romney elected and Obama out. We need politicians who seriously address important issues and do not go whichever way the wind blows. Both Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney understand what we need to do to save our nation and our children's inheritance. As a Conservative and as a member of the Tea Party, I stand behind Mr. Ryan. I encourage my fellow Conservatives to work to see Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan win in November. All issues aside, it is important that all citizens get out and vote this November—whether you agree with me on this issue or not.
—Michael F. Kloppel, chairman, Ontario County Conservative Party, Canandaigua
Romney's pick of Paul Ryan as VP running mate is an excellent one! I respect Ryan's values, and think he brings a nice balance to the Republican ticket. And at a time when so many political candidates and elected politicians are well past the half-century mark agewise, as a "young professional" I would consider Paul Ryan to be my generational peer. Put differently, he's not "old," and politics—especially at the national level—needs a more youthful perspective, one Paul Ryan is well positioned to deliver.
—Christopher Burns, marketing strategy consultant
8/17/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email email@example.com.