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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: Romney Picks Budget-Hawk Ryan for VP Spot

by Toni Johnson
August 12, 2012

Photo of the Day: U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in Norfolk, Virginia, August 11, 2012. Photo of the Day: U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in Norfolk, Virginia, August 11, 2012.

Just weeks before the Republican National Convention, presumptive presdential nominee Mitt Romney named Wisconsin House Rep. Paul Ryan, well-known for his attempts (LAT) to make significant cuts to the federal budget, as his choice for running mate.

The announcement came Saturday in Virginia on the first leg of Romney’s bus tour focusing on his message that he would strengthen the middle class. Some analysts see good for both Romney and President Barack Obama in the Ryan pick for what remains a highly-economy focused race.

“For Romney and his fellow Republicans, the selection of the author of a controversial plan to shrink the size of government served to fire up the party’s conservative base,” writes the LA Times’ Paul West. “For President Obama and fellow Democrats, the pick offered a way to divert focus from the president’s record on jobs and the economy to the Republican effort to alter Medicare and domestic programs.”

Earlier this year, House Republicans passed Ryan’s $3.53 trillion deficit-cutting budget plan, which some analysts believed would serve as a jumping-off point for GOP candidates to point to what they would do with control of the White House and one chamber of Congress. At the time, Romney called the plan “bold and exciting” and in line with his campaign.

“It is rare in American politics to arrive at a moment in which the debate revolves around the fundamental nature of American democracy and the social contract,” Ryan said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in March. “But that is where we are. And no two documents illustrate this choice of two futures better than the president’s budget and the one put forward by House Republicans.”

The budget measure was not passed by the Senate, which is currently controlled by Democrats.

Read Ryan’s remarks following Romney’s announcement selecting him as vice president here.

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