Ryan pick refocuses campaign

August 15, 2012


Last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal editorial “Why Not Paul Ryan?” made the case for his selection as the Republican vice-presidential nominee in this statement: “Romney can win a big election over big issues. He’ll lose a small one.”

After Ryan’s serious proposal to restructure Medicare — which virtually everyone knows must be reformed — the response from Democrats was an unserious TV ad, which showed a Ryan look-alike pushing an old woman in a wheelchair over a cliff.

If Ryan and Romney can effectively respond to such silliness, they will not only win the election; they will actually accomplish something that will benefit all Americans.

Is America ready for a serious discussion of issues, rather than the superficial approach that has defined so much of modern politics? We’re about to find out. There may be a remnant, a Puritan ethic, still living within our collective DNA that can remind us about the evil of debt, living within one’s means and taking care of yourself first, rather than relying on inefficient and overreaching government.

The Obama administration has done nothing to warrant a second term. If Ryan and Romney can force Americans to pay attention to the need for real change, instead of the unaffordable snake oil Obama has been selling, they will win handily and take back the Senate for Republicans. Anyone needing to be reminded of Ryan’s debating skills should re-visit his criticism of the president’s health-care measure before it passed with most of Congress not knowing what was in it. It’s worth your time to watch this (

Ryan will wipe the floor with Vice President Joe Biden in their one debate in October, but on the campaign trail he will remind Americans that this election is important. It’s not about race, class, or envy of Romney’s wealth. It is about America’s immediate and long-term future. Surgery is painful, but an ailing nation must have it or we will die financially and culturally. It’s as simple as that.

It is a truism that a nominee’s pick of a running mate is his first big decision and reflects on what his approach to the presidency will be. Some other Republican nominees have chosen running mates for reasons other than their intellectual heft. Romney’s pick of Ryan shows he means business.

The Obama smear machine will attack Ryan in every conceivable way, but if Ryan does not allow himself to be distracted and frames the issues in the proper way (“under Obama why would you think you would be better off in four years when you’re worse off today than you were four years ago?”) he might force many Americans to stop being distracted by irrelevancies and start focusing on what matters most.

Romney-Ryan must also re-tell America’s story. They should feature at every campaign stop someone who has succeeded without help from the federal government, including small business owners who did, in fact, build their businesses. Let’s see some Americans who overcame difficult circumstances by making right decisions. Inspiration and perspiration — not taxing and spending — built America and can rebuild it.

This election isn’t about politicians; it’s about us. Clearing the debris caused by broken and dysfunctional government, while maintaining a safety net for the genuinely needy, will not only restore the economy, it will restore optimism.

Ronald Reagan (Romney-Ryan is another “RR”) ran for re-election in 1984 and inspired people to believe in themselves, not government. President Obama appears to want the opposite.

Ancient cultures attached a lot of meaning to names. In Gaelic, Ryan means “king.” In a country without a monarch, a synonym might very well be “vice president.”

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.


Mike Ford 1 year, 8 months ago

how does an atheist greedy russian writer loved by a wisconsin nerd hall monitor go over with billy bob church attendees in linwood kansas? how many contradictions are there? romneybot with his mannish robotic tone and that charasmatic manner.... how does he excite the rural minions??? by bringing howdy doody cheesehead..... two guys with the charm and sincerety of used car salesmen....being called a lefty loon makes me think there isn't much intelligence or originality on the other side of this makes me think of mccarthyism.....the 1950's are calling.... sageon whatever.....go listen to pat boone be proud of being white and go look for commies or burn books or whatever it is you people do to create bogeymen....


rockchalk1977 1 year, 8 months ago

Smart Democrats are worried about Paul Ryan. If Ryan is an "extremist" and his proposals are so unpopular, how has he won election seven times in a Democratic district? His lowest share of the vote was 57% in his first race. When Obama swept the nation in 2008, Ryan won reelection with 65% of the vote, meaning that a fifth of Obama voters also voted for him. In addition, with Ryan on the ticket, the debate will be about the budget and the $16-trillion debt, the unsustainable trajectory of the federal government and the promises it’s already breaking to generations to come. Plus, you have to respect a guy who takes his wife ice fishing on their first Valentine’s Day as a married couple.


Richard Payton 1 year, 8 months ago

Biggunz ask what's your guy done? I sure hope your not a reporter failing to see what the Presidents done. He helped craft the affordable care act. Which by the way is one of the largest piece's of modern law and insurance & health policy. I'll side with you that some of his policies have failed but can we name any President without some failures.


voevoda 1 year, 8 months ago

If the election is indeed about "America's immediate and long-term future," as Cal Thomas asserts, then all the more reason to vote against Romney/Ryan.


biggunz 1 year, 8 months ago

Yeah, dems would be wise to focus on anything other than their failing president. You all spend so much time bashing Romney and Ryan, what's you guy done? Highest deficit ever....with no end in sight. Highest average price for gasoline in a year. High unemployment. No comments about any of that from you or him. Just attacks. That will not fix this country. When people open their eyes in a few months, your boy will be out.

And btw, what is it with you guys and Fox News? At least they report something. Your crooked news outlets don't report anything about your failing prez. How is that open, honest reporting? It's not, fools.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

Refocuses the campaign on Ryan's budget plan, which would eliminate medicare and replace it with a voucher system that seniors could use toward purchasing private insurance.

I say "toward" purchasing private insurance because all analysis indicates that the voucher in Ryan's plan would not buy comparable coverage now available under medicare, and this is before insurance companies raise their prices.

Ayn Rand as Ryan's moral compass can now be focused on.

Let's not forget Romney's tax returns. Just what does he not want Americans to see?


overplayedhistory 1 year, 8 months ago

Refocused from "I like to fire people" to I like to fire people and the kick them off unemployment.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

'Willfully Gullible' Corporate Media Sing Paul Ryan's Praise The Media's Favorite 'Wonk': Paul Ryan According to Beltway media

"In short, there are two versions of Paul Ryan: He is either a wonky, spreadsheet-obsessed policy expert, or he's crafted a budget that favors the wealthy and makes little practical or even mathematical sense. Economists and budget experts tend to believe the latter; journalists overwhelmingly see the former."


markoo 1 year, 8 months ago

"If Ryan and Romney can effectively respond to such silliness, they will not only win the election; they will actually accomplish something that will benefit all Americans."

That's the funny thing, Cal. If you weren't such a Wingnut hack, you would have known or at least fully acknowledged the fact that Ryan and the GOP nuts in the House failed miserably in convincing the public that their economic plan will add up. Their idea to essentially destroy Medicare as we know it went over like a lead balloon. Cal knows this. As does the rest of the Winger clan.

Ryan is charismatic. He's an eloquent speaker. But his policies suck. Period.


Claude_Hopper 1 year, 8 months ago

The anxiety in the Obama camp just went up about 20 notches. That probably explains why their campaign strategy has sunk to historical lows. Expect it to get worse.


SageonPage 1 year, 8 months ago

When truth and reason are spoken such as from the Republican candidates it just drives the looney left over the cliff! When they hear truth they scatter like cockroaches after the light goes on! I can't wait to hear Bitme's first screw up in the debate!


Mike Ford 1 year, 8 months ago

yeah.....the conversation now is about about denial and flip the wisconsin hall monitor nerd and the rombot flip reality on it's as the simpletons go wow at the magic trick.....


rockchalker52 1 year, 8 months ago

"Ryan will wipe the floor with Vice President Joe Biden in their one debate in October..."

I'll take that bet & give you 2 to 1 odds. Ryan will end up as the mop.


Paul R Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

This election isn’t about politicians; it’s about us. Clearing the debris caused by broken and dysfunctional government, while maintaining a safety net for the genuinely needy, will not only restore the economy, it will restore optimism.======= A good point which applies to most of the past 40+ years. Keep 'em coming, Cal.


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