Clearly the Romney campaign forgot to consult The Brody File before making its VP selection this weekend. That’s because The Brody File is at the beach with his family!
Having said that, here are a quick few thoughts on the big choice:
This is a big and bold pick, which is a little surprising since Mitt Romney is typically more of a reserved, play it close to the vest type of guy. But by not going with a safe, traditional pick Romney is clearly showing that he feels he needs to go on the offensive and not just let this be about President Obama’s economic record.
By picking Ryan, who authored the bold GOP version of the budget (in which tough choices are made on entitlements, etc.) Romney has cemented the fact that the main topic in the fall Election will not just be about the economy but the actual fiscal future of our country.
Will the Obama campaign salivate over the Ryan pick? Absolutely. They will try and demonize Ryan and his budget plan and will now be able to tie Romney directly to it.
But in this pick, we have seen something from Mitt Romney that should encourage the conservative base. What is it? Simply put it is the fact that by picking Ryan, Romney is signaling to everyone that he is serious when it comes to embracing bold, serious change. Ryan’s budget confronts the fiscal cliff that we keep hearing so much about. This VP move shows that Romney is serious about doing something about it.
Two other thoughts: Romney and Ryan seem very compatible. They are both policy wonk heads and they are not bomb throwers. That should also play well with Independent voters. The other point that should be made is that Romney had said that his number one criteria for VP is that person must be ready to be president. Ryan is a 42 year old House member. Expect the media and the Obama campaign to focus on this.
The Brody File is hearing from many evangelical leaders and they are telling me that this is a phenomenal choice. Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America tells The Brody File the following:
“Paul Ryan is a great choice. He has one little blip in that he voted for ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) a long time ago but voted right on the marriage amendment and supports the unborn. Plus, I get to pull back out my t-shirt from 2008 that says ‘Our VP is hotter than your VP!’ Bonus”
Nance also points out that Ryan scored a 96 percent and 100 percent on their last two congressional scorecards.
Director and Senior Fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute Janice Crouse, Ph.D said this:
"Paul Ryan is a two-fer for Mitt Romney. He is, of course, a solid fiscal conservative; he is also a strong social conservative. He is a pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family candidate who votes the right way, says the right things, and lives out his faith authentically."
Guess what everybody? You know what Crouse just described? A Teavangelical! That’s right. Paul Ryan is a Teavangelical-type candidate. Bonus points for Romney with the base on that for sure.
Here’s Ralph Reed’s reaction, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition:
“Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee is an inspired, outstanding selection. Paul Ryan is a rare and exceptional public servant who combines the courage of his convictions with a sharp intellect and a winsome personality. I have known him since he worked for Jack Kemp at Empower America in the early 1990s, worked with him in passing sound budgets in the House, and am proud to count him as a friend. He is a person of devout Christian faith who has a 100 percent pro-life and pro-family voting record in his 14 years in Congress. He will excite and energize social conservatives, who will play a critical role in the outcome of the elections.”
Here’s Rick Santorum’s reaction:
"Congressman Paul Ryan is an outstanding choice as our country's next vice president, and today's announcement demonstrates Governor Romney's commitment to returning fiscal sanity back to Washington, D.C.
"I have long supported Paul Ryan's fiscal and entitlement reforms to return our country back on a path of fiscal health. At a time when our country is at an economic crossroads, Congressman Ryan's depth of knowledge on how to tackle these challenges is unparalleled. He will serve Governor Romney and our country well to undo the flawed policies of the last four years.
"In addition to Congressman Ryan's stellar fiscal conservative positions, he is indeed a full-spectrum conservative. He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national security priorities. I look forward to supporting the Romney-Ryan ticket in the weeks to come."
More posts coming soon, including my one-on-one interview with Ryan from a few months ago.