In hopes of salvaging the weekend news cycle, Romney, just moments ago, announced Tea Party favorite Paul Ryan as his running mate

A few days ago, as you may have heard, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul went off-script while trying to make the case that her boss is a real human being, with… you know… a heart. She reminded Fox News viewers that Romney was responsible for bringing universal health care to the the people of Massachusetts when he served as Governor. While, in a sane world, that would have been a great point to bring up, in today’s through the looking glass world of Republican politics, what she said was greeted with blood-curdling screams. (Given the vitriol directed at Saul, you’d have thought that she’d revealed something truly terrible, like that Romney had systematic outsourced thousands of American jobs to India and China, while at the head of Bain Capital.) And the campaign has been in a tailspin ever since. Well, in an attempt to contain the damage, and change the course of the weekend news cycle, Mitt Romney, early this morning, announced that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan would be his running mate. The following comes from Talking Points Memo.

Via smartphone app Saturday morning, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced he’s selected Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to be his running mate.

In a later press release, the Romney campaign named the two men “America’s comeback team.” News of the Romney pick leaked late Friday night, ahead of Ryan and Romney’s first appearance as running mates in Norfolk, VA Saturday morning.

Ryan, and the budget plan that has come to define him as a politician, offer the ticket serious risks and rewards: Ryan can galvanize conservatives and offer a substantive alternative to President Obama’s vision for improving the economy, but that vision involves enormous tax cuts focused on the wealthy — a fact that could cement Romney in the minds of voters as the rich man’s candidate.

Ryan is a staunch conservative and one of the most high-profile Republicans in Congress. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan is the architect of the party’s contentious policy platform, which includes radical restructuring of popular programs like Medicare and the eventual eradication of some of the government’s key functions.

Ryan represents the Wisconsin’s 1st District — a region that includes the small city of Janesville, where Ryan was born and raised. An Ayn Rand acolyte, Ryan worked as an aide for Sens. Bob Kasten (R-WI), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and for GOP vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp, whom he identifies as one of his professional role models. He was first elected to public office in 1998, when he was only 28 years old.

Though he’s now identified as the GOP’s small government standard-bearer, Ryan rose through the ranks of the House GOP conference supporting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit and TARP, the 2008 bank-bailout bill…

Here, if you’re interested in knowing more about Ryan, is some great footage of him being booed by his constituents for proposing that social programs be eliminated in order to make further tax cuts for the wealthy possible.

It’s also worth noting that Ryan, who now crusades against Social Security, paid his tuition at Miami of Ohio using the Social Security survivor’s benefits he received after his father passed away. (How’s that for hypocrisy?)

And then there’s this, from Esquire.

One day, some years from now, I’m going to figure out how Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin, managed to fool so many people for so long. He’s a garden-variety supply-side faker. His alleged economic “wonkery” consists of a B.A. in economics from Miami of Ohio — which he would not have been able to achieve without my generosity in helping him out with the Social Security survivor’s benefits that got him through high school after his father kicked. (You’re welcome, zombie-eyed granny-starver. Think nothing of it. Really.) Whereupon he went to work in Washington for a variety of conservative congresscritters and think-tanks, thinking unremarkable thoughts for fairly unremarkable people. Once in Congress, however, he has been transformed into an intellectual giant despite the fact that, every time he comes up with another “budget,” actual economists get a look at it and determine, yet again, that between “What We Should Do” and “Great Things That Will Happen When We Do” is a wilderness of dreamy nonsense, wishful thinking, and an asterisk the size of Lake Huron. At which point, Republicans who’d like to have careers in five years take to hiding behind the drapes when he comes down the hall. Then, a few months later, he’s at it again. And even some putatively liberal commentators shrug and tell themselves that, at least, Paul Ryan is a Serious Person. He gets credit for sincerely wanting to “reform” entitlements, when his entire career makes it quite plain that he doesn’t believe in the concept of entitlements, let alone the ones we actually have. He gets a pass on obvious mendacity that none of us would buy from, say, Herman Cain. (In a way, it’s not dissimilar to all those valentines to the mighty intellect of Newt Gingrich that we read back in the early 1990’s, until everybody figured out that Newt’s default position on almost everything was being a thoroughgoing creep.) Outside of the very real possibility that it’s all being done to give Paul Krugman a stroke, I don’t get it…

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  1. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    LOL, this puts the electoral college in play for Obama/Biden to get close 400.
    Man, A Tea Partier as VP on the GOP ticket, Nice.
    This just gets better.

  2. Bob
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    At first glance it seems crazy but it might be a brilliant move. Can Americans be convinced to completely vote against their own interests? Of course they can. I think Romney’s main reason for picking Ryan is actually for his nasty attack style. He’s Mitt’s hatchet man. It’s going to get very ugly.

  3. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    VP pick is just pandering to the Tea Party Far Right Wing of the GOP of today; that has high jacked the party.
    Mittens has just been a diaster and they don’t know what to do.
    A 100% Gift to the Democrats and Obama/Biden.

  4. Rick Cronn
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Rmoney tacks to the right to shore up his base because he just gave up on the independent, Hispanic, pensioner and women’s vote.

    Ryan is the new Dick “Vader” Cheney except younger and prettier.

  5. Posted August 11, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Formally announcing his pick just now, aboard the USS Wiconsin, Romney referred to Ryan as “the next President of the United States.”

  6. Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Bob is exactly right. A heckuva lot of people are going to be thrilled that those fat, lazy black welfare queens can’t get free health care anymore and won’t have those easy lives that they have. Now, since those of us on this website can read & have higher reasoning skills, we realize that he will also cut Medi*care*, but even if those idiots realize that it doesn’t matter because they are going to be rich under Romney and won’t need Medicare anyway. It will be THEIR time when Romney takes over from those elite bastards who think they’re so smart and with the government out of their way, THEY will rise and become rich.

    I think we are fooling ourselves if we think this made Obama’s reelection any easier.

  7. Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I found it fascinating that the only potentially good thing I can see about Romney (healthcare in Massachusetts) is viewed by so many others as an abomination. I remember people saying it was a snafu and something he has to tip toe around. Frankly I am sort of appalled that we live in a world where a presidential candidate has to be careful not to mention that he put a plan in action that gave, nearly, an entire state of people access to medical help if they needed it.

    This Ryan stuff helps continue that feeling and draw it out into the stratosphere. In a way it makes sense because he clearly loves Mitt Romney. Nobody has tried to do more for the super rich in the last few than Paul Ryan, albeit at the expense of everyone else in this country who paid taxes. I didn’t really despise George Bush and haven’t been blindly loyal to Barack Obama, but I think I can take a pretty solid stance against all of this Romney garbage trying to come through.

  8. Bob
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Obama is in serious trouble even if the October jobs report doesn’t completely suck. Which it probably will. I’m amazed anyone thinks this pick is good news for Dems. Ryan addresses most of the flaws in Romney as a candidate. Not going with the obvious milquetoast choices everyone predicted is alone a boost for Mitt. Be worried America.

  9. anonymous
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I heard someone refer to him as the next generation Dick Cheney. I think that gives him too much credit. I do think there’s a Cheney connection, though. I think Cheney has been coaching him, with the intention of having his brain transferred into Ryan’s skull, once he makes it into the White House.

  10. Jim Dean
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink readers-

    Mitt Romney pandered to the extreme right and announced Paul Ryan as his pick for vice president this morning, guaranteeing that this election will be about tax cuts, Medicare, and the economy.

    Ryan is a rock star for Republicans, the lead architect of the radical right-wing budget that Republicans are pushing in Congress. A budget that calls for:

    – Huge new tax cuts for the super rich on top of extending the Bush tax cuts
    – Turning Medicare into a voucher program
    – Making massive cuts to vital programs like Medicaid, food stamps, Pell Grants, and job training
    – New increases in military spending — even as President Obama ends two wars

    Let me put this as simply as I can: Paul Ryan is the author of everything we’ve been fighting against in Washington since Republicans took control of the House — and now Mitt Romney wants him to be vice president.

    No way. We need to beat these guys.

    Thank you for everything you do.


    Jim Dean, Chair
    Democracy for America

  11. Watching Ypsi.
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Jim.

  12. Edward
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I was betting that they’d choose Palin again.

  13. goo
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Ok. Like voting for these guys will be worse then keeping the current war-monger president in office. Obama is Bush 2. Any of you supporting him are fucking hypocrites. SEND A REAL MESSAGE IN THIS NEXT ELECTION. DON’T VOTE. The only way to change shit will be to not take part in it. This is not a sports game where you should feel good if your “guy” wins. These people (Dems and Repubs) do not give a shit about you. Obama does not give a shit about you. Romney does not give a shit about you. FUCK THE BROKEN TWO PARTY SYSTEM. DO NOT VOTE.

  14. Edward
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” – Paul Ryan

  15. Knox
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    He wants to end Medicare. I would think that would almost guarantee a loss for the ticket in Florida, unless, of course, they can manipulate the voting machines, or something. (Not that I’m a conspiracy theorist, or anything)

  16. Knox
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Palin has weighed in.

    “We must now look to this new team, the Romney/Ryan ticket, to provide an alternate vision of an America that is fiscally responsible, strong, and prosperous – an America that understands and is proud of her exceptional place in the world and will respect those who fight to secure that exceptionalism, which includes keeping our promises to our veterans.”

    The implication is clear. Obama is not proud of his country, and does not think that we hold a special place in the eyes of God. He also hates our veterans.

  17. Thom Elliott
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    This Paul Ryan is already a dead letter, pack it up boys, nothing to see here. I loved when he got schooled by the Jesuits, and then his dim witted ass claimed obscure Catholic medieval ontologist Thomas Aquinas to supposedly represent his perfidious profligacy (there is no chance he understands Aquinas at all). Its also amusing that Palin could be so hilariously stupid as to think with changeing the executive the US will presto-changeo back into the US from the 80’s. Its like an alternative universe these ultra-right money worshipping sociopaths are living in, like all of a sudden we won’t be in peak oil anymore, or the bleeding of jobs overseas by Randian ubermensch will just staunch itself, when we get rid of the black Wall St robot all of a sudden the US won’t be on the “slippery slope” towards socialism (what a joke, our govt is bought & payed for by corperations, it is peopled by tycoons with only their interests at heart).

  18. Jules
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Mark, that link goes to Charlie Pierce on Esquire, not the Atlantic. Pierce’s political coverage has been just great and the commenters are fun to read, smart and funny.

  19. Posted August 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Jules. I’ll change it.

    If you really want to read something from the Atlantic, though, I’d suggest the article entitled, “Mitt Romney Would Pay 0.82 Percent in Taxes Under Paul Ryan’s Plan.” Here’s a clip:

    Under Paul Ryan’s plan, Mitt Romney wouldn’t pay any taxes for the next ten years — or any of the years after that. Now, do I know that that’s true. Yes, I’m certain.

    Well, maybe not quite nothing. In 2010 — the only year we have seen a full return from him — Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, rather than the 13.9 percent he actually did. How would someone with more than $21 million in taxable income pay so little? Well, the vast majority of Romney’s income came from capital gains, interest, and dividends. And Ryan wants to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends.

    Romney, of course, criticized this idea when Newt Gingrich proposed it back in January by pointing out that zeroing out taxes on savings and investment would mean zeroing out his own taxes…

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