Congressman Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.) who absolutely destroyed President Obama at the health care summit of February 2010, has endorsed Mitt Romney for president. On Fox News today, Ryan said, “I am convinced that Mitt Romney has the skills, the tenacity, the principles, the courage and the integrity to do what it takes to get America back on track. So I believe he’s the right person for the job.”
Next Tuesday, voters in Wisconsin go to the polls in the Republican primary, and Ryan said that he had been asked by voters from his home state whom he supports. He responded that he had two criteria for choosing a candidate: “Who is the best person to be president — who will be the best president? And who has the best chance of defeating Barack Obama? And in my mind, Mitt Romney is clearly that person.”
Ryan has eschewed endorsing a candidate until now because as head of the Republican National Committee’s presidential trust, he was responsible for helping to raise $21.6 million. But this week that goal was met, and Ryan was free to announce his choice. Ryan, who is one of the Republicans in charge of budgeting the eventual presidential nominee’s campaign, said he was concerned that the longer the fight for the nomination went on, the poorer the nominee’s chances would be against President Obama in the fall.
Ryan knows more about budgeting than virtually anyone on Capitol Hill, and he’s been politically fearless about challenging Obama at every turn. From his confrontation at the health care summit that left Obama looking punch-drunk:
And if you take a look at these CBO analysis, analysis from your chief actuary, I think it’s very revealing. This bill does not control costs. This bill does not reduce deficits. Instead this bill adds a new health care entitlement at a time when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have . . . first, a little bit about CBO. I work with them every single day. Very good people, great professionals, they do their jobs well. But their job is to score what is placed in front of them. And what has been placed in front of them is a bill that is full of gimmicks and smoke and mirrors.”
“And I’ve got to tell you, the American people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit you’re not listening to them.”
Ryan may be thinking of the VP slot with this endorsement, but it doesn’t matter; he’s a heavyweight who helps Romney shore up the base, including Tea Party support. And that will be extremely important come November.