Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate drew widespread approval along the Republican and conservative spectrum on Saturday.
Romney was roundly applauded for picking the Wisconsin congressman, whose reputation as a reformer and as an intellectual won high marks among those who weighed in.
Newt Gingrich called the move "largest step the GOP has taken towards solving the country's problems since Reagan and Kemp," referring to the former president and vice-presidential candidate.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who was being considered for the slot himself, said Romney picking Ryan “is a truly inspired choice,” calling Ryan “a courageous reformer who understands our nation’s challenges, has proposed bold policy solutions to solve them, and has shown the courage to stand up to President Obama and other Washington politicians trying to tear him down.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Ryan “is an excellent choice, and a confirmation that Gov. Romney is serious about strengthening America's economic future, tackling the deficits and debt that have skyrocketed under President Obama, and returning to a path to solvency and security.”
American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas said Romney “hit a home run” with the selection of Ryan, saying it “unifies conservatives, defines our message of bringing fiscal sanity back to our government, and brings a youthful enthusiasm to the ticket as we embark on an important debate of ideas which will define America for generations to come.
He said, “Congressman Ryan has a lifetime ACU rating of 91.69, and the American Conservative Union and our followers simply love this choice!"
Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a former Romney primary rival, said Ryan is an “an outstanding choice as our country's next vice president, and today's announcement demonstrates Gov. Romney's commitment to returning fiscal sanity back to Washington, D.C.
"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.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush applauded the choice, saying Ryan’s “command of economic policy and the federal budget will prove invaluable as Governor Romney fights to reform government, accelerate job growth and rein in the out-of-control spending that has been a hallmark of President Obama’s years in office.”
Fox News contributor Dick Morris said Ryan has a "staggering intellect" which would put him in stark contrast to Vice President Joe Biden. "He is one of the most truthful politicians there is," Morris said on "Fox and Friends." "This guy says what he thinks, he doesn't lie. He doesn't prevaricate."
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he could only think one word as reaction to Ryan as Romney’s running mate: “Great. …Great from an intellectual standpoint and great from a clarity of policy standpoint. And a person ultimately, without a doubt, qualified to be president.”
Gov. Scott Walker of Ryan's homestate of Wisconsin called the pick a “bold and reform-minded selection.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee described Ryan as "a boost" for Romney's campaign. "Ryan is a bold choice but not a ridiculously bold choice," he said. "There is no such thing as a perfect pick but he is a very substantive pick."
Huckabee also said there is a good chemistry between Romney and his selection. "Paul Ryan looks like Mitt Romney's sixth son," he said.
Amy Kremer, chairwoman of Tea Party Express said Ryan and Rubio had the strongest support from grassroots supporters in polls. “Ryan is a strong fiscal conservative, and he has used his Chairmanship of the House Budget Committee to address the serious financial woes facing the country."
Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition called the pick “an inspired, outstanding selection,” calling Ryan “a rare and exceptional public servant who combines the courage of his convictions with a sharp intellect and a winsome personality,” and “a person of devout Christian faith who has a 100 percent pro-life and pro-family voting record in his 14 years in Congress.”
R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, called Ryan a “strong choice.” He said, “nobody is more qualified to articulate a conservative economic vision to restore the American economy and stimulate job creation.”
Chris Chocola, president of Club for Growth, said, “No one understands the dire consequences we face by continuing to ignore our spending problem better than Congressman Ryan, and no one can do a better job of articulating a vision of how to fix it.”
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said Ryan “is going to be a great vice president." “Nobody understands the federal budget better than Paul, or has worked harder to develop and offer real solutions to the fiscal challenges facing America,” he said.
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