Paul Ryan Brings Economy Center Stage for 2012 Election


With Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate in his quest for the White House, perhaps election season's greatest mystery has finally been solved. The selection raises another question, however; how will Ryan work out for the Republican party?

As so much of the election hangs on the condition of the economy, the selection of Paul Ryan sends a very, very clear economic message from the Romney campaign; more cuts, less spending and less government intervention.

Paul Ryan has, for some time, been seen as one of the Republican party's rising stars. At the age of 42, he seems to breath some life into the Romney campaign, who had been labeled since before the primaries as being stiff and perhaps out of touch. Ryan's youthful energy could be a big factor in Romney's ability to sink or swim, as the youthful guise of President Obama himself has since faded since the 2008 campaign.

While Ryan was definitely the younger choice for Romney, he certainly wasn't the safest; however, many speculate that Romney was wise to avoid the safer route due to his falling poll positions in certain battleground states. Ryan was a risk that the Romney campaign was willing to take. And unlike John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin during the prior election, Ryan certainly doesn't come into the field as an unknown.

Paul Ryan came to notoriety in 2011 with his Path to Prosperity (also known simply as the Ryan Plan) budget, which has become overwhelmingly popular with conservatives. The Ryan plan is noted for its desire to transform entitlement programs, reform Medicare, and also slash Medicaid in food stamps. Furthermore, the Ryan plan supports tax cuts for the corporations and wealthy Americans, as well as spending on federal programs and agencies outside of the Pentagon.

Ryan was not shy to launch his own criticisms toward the Obama administration shortly after his reveal as Romney's VP pick, referring to Obama's “record of failure” leading to the “worst economic recovery in 70 years.”

“No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation,” Ryan said. “In his first two years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn't make things better.” Ryan's youth and energy may be able to provide the sting that the Romney campaign has seemingly been lacking in recent weeks.

While popular with conservatives, the plan itself is seen as dangerous and controversial with Democrats. The selection of Ryan will no doubt give the Obama campaign some heavy ammunition against the Romney's campaign in an attempt to hold onto the elderly and poorer Americans. President Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, referred to Ryan as “the architect of a radical Republican House budget.”

Romney's VP selection sends a clear message economically, but that message may put him at odds with voters that could be essential to his victory. Despite this, Romney was confident concerning his running mate, stating that the decision was easy. “We've got to save the country,” Romney said on Saturday.

Other potential nominees for the VP spot included Rob Portman, Tim Pawlenty, Marco Rubio and Bob McDonnell. Romney is said to have made his decision over a week prior to the announcement and managed to keep it under wraps until then.

The introduction of Paul Ryan into the 2012 election opens up many new discussions concerning the size and role of government, as well as what's best for the economy versus what's best for the American people. Who should be getting the tax cuts? What should be done about entitlement programs? Such questions will become key in the coming months, with both sides as aggressive as ever to hold down their positions.

“Mitt Romney is doubling down on an economic agenda that benefits people like Mitt Romney at the expense of the rest of the country,” said Chris Van Hollen, Democratic congressman from Maryland, who as the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. “It will clearly sharpen the issues.”

On the other side of the fence, Ryan doesn't look to back down.

"Higher unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is not a new normal. It is a result of misguided policies," Ryan said in response to Democrats.

The division between the two parties has become quite deep, and Americans have been left with two very, very different choices in terms of a Presidential administration. It seems that whichever side that brings economic relief to Americans and their small businesses will be poised to take the White House The great remaining mystery of election season now is this; who will come out on top?.

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Brent Barnhart

Brent Barnhart is a freelance content writer specializing in topics such as Internet marketing and content marketing for small businesses. His goal is to help business owners find their voices online and improve their content strategies. You can reach Brent or find out more at

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