The focus of the presidential race turns to Iowa today as both President Obama and Mitt Romney’s new running mate Paul Ryan visit the Hawkeye state. Today marks Ryan’s first day of solo campaigning. Romney selected the seven-term Republican congressman from Wisconsin on Saturday morning.
Mitt Romney: "If they elect Paul Ryan and me, we’re going to do five things that are going to bring back America’s economy. You’re going to see a resurgence in jobs, a resurgence in our competitiveness. You’re going to see us finally get America on track to a balanced budget. We’re going to do what it takes to bring America back."
Romney’s selection of Ryan is expected to fire up the conservative base of the Republican Party. Ryan has become a Tea Party favorite for pushing a controversial budget and economic vision, marked by deep cutbacks to the social safety net coupled with lower tax rates. Over the years, Ryan has pushed for privatizing Social Security, dismantling Medicare and slashing funding for Medicaid. He has also proposed cutting food stamps for as many as 10 million Americans, cutting funds for programs likes Meals on Wheels and eliminating Pell Grants for more than one million students. On the tax front, Ryan has proposed a plan to slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans while raising taxes on some of the poor. The New York Times reports that by one statistical count, Ryan is the most conservative vice-presidential nominee in more than 100 years.
On Saturday, Ryan joined Romney on the campaign trail in Virginia.
Rep. Paul Ryan: "America is on the wrong track. But Mitt Romney and I will take the right steps in the right time to get us back on the right track. I believe that my record of getting things done in Congress will be a very helpful complement to Governor Romney’s executive and private sector success outside of Washington. I’ve worked closely with Republicans as well as Democrats to advance an agenda of economic growth, fiscal discipline and job creation. I’m proud to stand with a man who understands what it takes to foster job creation in our economy."