Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says Rep. Paul Ryan's addition to the Republican presidential ticket will help pull independents and discerning Democrats away from President Barack Obama to deliver the state and the nation to Mitt Romney in November.
"I think it will have a big impact," the Republican governor told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Monday.
"Paul comes from one of the most competitive, politically competitive congressional districts in the country," Walker said. "It is almost evenly split between Republican and Democrat. It is urban, suburban and rural, a perfect microcosm of America."
Walker added that Ryan has "been running on his plan to turn the budget around" and has "consistently won with more than 60 percent of the vote" in his congressional district, a seat he held for nearly 14 years.
"If he even just takes a fraction of that margin off what Barack Obama did [to win Wisconsin] four years ago, he'll carry Wisconsin, and in turn, that'll help us carry America back to some fiscal and economic sanity."
Walker said the key would be to attract independents and "discerning Democrats," which he said Romney was on his way to doing before he picked Ryan as his running mate. Now with the congressman on the ticket, it will help solidify and attract new support to the Republican campaign.
" I'd said after my [recall] election [victory] back in June that I thought Mitt Romney could win Wisconsin and particularly because I felt that voters in our state, where they elected me by a bigger margin than two years ago, were looking beyond just Republican voters," Walker noted.
"There were independents and even some discerning Democrats who had voted for us because they wanted leaders who were willing to make tough, bold decisions," he said. "And I felt Mitt Romney could do that. I feel that even more strongly since Mitt Romney's courageous and, I think, very bold, big and bold announcement, of Paul Ryan on Saturday."
Walker said independent swing voters and Democrats upset with Obama's record have been looking for leaders "who are willing to take a risk and take on tough decisions."
He said Romney's choice of Ryan "reaffirms the fact that this a guy whose experience in the private sector, turning around the Olympics and even as a governor, turning things around, he's now showed us yet again he's got the capacity to make the tough decisions.
"That'll be a sharp contrast to this president, who keeps wanting to run away from his record because it's a failed record," Walker added.
The governor summed up his view of Romney's running mate this way: "It's nice to have a cheesehead on the ticket," he said, calling Ryan "the smartest person I know in politics, the most courageous person I know in politics, and . . . one of the most humble and decent people I know, in or out of politics."
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