New Push for Ryan as Romney's Vice Presidential Candidate

Monday, 06 Aug 2012 06:48 PM

By Dan Weil and Patrick Hobin

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The push for  House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan to be named as presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate is fast gaining momentum.

Even one of his chief rivals for the role, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is touting the Wisconsin congressman.

"Picking somebody like a Paul Ryan would send a very powerful message that this [Romney] administration was serious about Medicare reform, entitlement reform, shrinking the size of government, and doing so in a courageous way," Jindal said over the weekend.

Who Do You Think Will Be Romney's Pick for VP? Vote Here!

The Weekly Standard’s influential Stephen Hayes and William Kristol also published a column over the weekend urging Romney to choose Ryan or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Jindal, who has until now been considered one of three favorites, along with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty,  made his comments at  the Red State Gathering in Jacksonville, Fla.

One of the most significant moves to a Romney-Ryan ticket could be the fact that Ryan has just updated his Federal Election Commission filings for his PAC and cancelled an appearance at an anti-Obamacare rally Friday.

As is customary in a game in which candidates feign disinterest in the job until they are actually named, his aides are warning against drawing any conclusions from the moves.

Ryan skipped his speech at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s Defending the American Dream Summit because he “wanted to get back and see his family,” Ryan campaign spokesman Kevin Seifert said.

Meanwhile, Ryan’s Prosperity Action Committee PAC filed amended versions of its three most recent monthly fundraising reports, Politico reports.

But Seifert said the reports simply had to be changed when Ryan’s staff discovered that a contribution received in April was inadvertently included for both Prosperity Action and the representative’s joint action committee. That error then continued into later reports.

“It’s a pretty easy explanation. Basically, it was cleaning up an error that had been made in April 2012 regarding money that had been doubly counted,” Seifert said.

In The Weekly Standard piece, the magazine's editor, Kristol and senior writer Hayes urged Romney to "go bold" with his choice. They said the two men “more than anyone else, embody Republican hopes and conservative change.”

They lay out the argument that the selection of a running mate speaks loudly to voters in terms of why they should vote for him. “Voters seem to care,” they wrote. “In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, 74 percent of registered voters said the selection of a running mate will matter—48 percent saying it matters ‘somewhat’ and 26 percent saying it matters ‘a lot.’ In a close election, as this one seems likely to be, Romney’s pick could help determine the outcome.”

Who Do You Think Will Be Romney's Pick for VP? Vote Here!

Putting Ryan on the ticket, they argued, “would ensure that the presidential race is a contest of ideas, not just personalities. In a country where conservatives outnumber liberals two-to-one and where President Obama is thought to be more likable than Mitt Romney by huge margins (+30 according to USA Today/Gallup, +38 in the Washington Post/ABC poll), this strikes us as a good idea.”

“If Ryan’s budget is going to be a central part of the debate over the next three months, who better to explain and defend it than Paul Ryan?” they wrote.

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