US & Canada

Paul Ryan VP pick: media reaction

Mitt Romney announces Paul Ryan as his running mate

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has announced that congressman Paul Ryan will be his running mate for November's election. Politicians and commentators have been reacting in the American press and online:

On Twitter

Texas Governor and former Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry @GovernorPerry: "Paul Ryan, conservative budget hawk..excellent choice who will underscore MR commitment to downsize Washington and restore job creation."

Republican Majority Leader in the House of Representatives @EricCantor: ".@MittRomney's selection of my good friend @PaulRyanVP underscores the kind of bold vision and leadership America needs! #RomneyRyan2012"

Former US Assistant Secretary of State @PJCrowley: "#Romney and #Ryan have yet to learn what #Reagan did. You cannot lower taxes and balance the budget without reducing defense spending."

John F. Harris and Mike Allen on

Ryan's advantages are profound: he's young, Rust Belt, Catholic, serious, and - his top advantage - he will bring excitement and purpose to a campaign that had been devoid of both.

Many outside Republican strategists, however, are already fretting that the pick will likely turn out to be political malpractice—turning off independents and older voters, who depend especially on programs that are targeted by Ryan's budget plan that would cut entitlements.

Dan Balz in the Washington Post

A Romney-Ryan ticket will help to clarify the choices for voters in November. Rarely have the two parties presented such a stark contrast in visions as now appears to be the case. Those competing visions could produce, after a summer of often small-minded tactics, the kind of big debate about the country's future that both Obama and Romney have said this campaign should be about...

Ryan has the potential to make Romney a better candidate. Anyone who has watched the two men campaign together has seen the chemistry that exists between them. With Ryan on the stage next to him, Romney is more animated and relaxed and seemingly comfortable in having Ryan add firepower and heft to his message about the economy and the deficit.

Steve Kornacki on

To say this is politically risky is an understatement. The Democratic strategy to win back the House this year involves pinning the Ryan budget to every Republican candidate, and Obama has been itching to make the fall race a competition between his priorities and those of Ryan's plan. The hope for the Romney campaign is that they'll be able to turn the tables on their opponents by presenting the GOP ticket as a team of unusually serious and courageous policy leaders who are willing to tell hard truths about the country's fiscal predicament.

There are endless reasons to doubt this will work. The toxicity of the Ryan budget has been tested (on a small-scale, granted) before, and the result weren't good for the GOP. Which is why, more than anything else, this is a huge risk for Romney - a risk he wouldn't be taking if this summer hadn't gone so poorly for him.

Michael D. Shear in the New York Times

For fiscal conservatives, Mr. Ryan is likely to be a home run. He has been pushing Republicans to go further in cutting the size of government than others in the party.

But some Tea Party members might not see him as the ideal person to represent their interests. He's an insider-type politician who works from within the system, not against it.

Rick Klein of ABC News

Choosing Ryan is a tacit acknowledgment by the campaign that its initial assumptions about the race - that it's a coin flip, that Romney's biography and experience could speak for itself, that making the race a referendum on President Obama was enough - no longer apply. Yes, Romney had already embraced the Ryan budget. But he'd done so tenderly and reluctantly, checking a box. Now Romney has invited Ryan himself into his own box.

No other choice came with ready-made policy that's anywhere near as defining for the candidate or the party. No other candidate would immediately tip the balance of the campaign like Ryan. The question for the new Romney-Ryan is whether it will tip in their direction, or wildly in the other way.

Julian Zelizer for

If Ryan's main role is to be the ideological messenger of the campaign or to become the main attraction, he probably will not be effective. Based on the history, and the limited assistance vice-presidential candidates can provide, what Romney needs is for Ryan to strengthen his central message, namely that he has more economic expertise than President Obama, to convince right-wing as well as Rust Belt Republicans that Romney would be a good president and to be able to engage in the kinds of tougher attacks that conservatives are clamoring for, the kinds of attacks Vice President Biden has proven quite adept at handling for Democrats.