Local reaction to Romney's VP choice of Ryan
Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Romney stands with U.S. Congressman Ryan (R-WI) after introducing him as his vice-presidential running mate during a campaign event at the retired battleship USS Wisconsin in Norfolk (JASON REED, REUTERS / August 11, 2012) (August 12, 2012)
Predictably, the Indiana Democratic Party said, "As a member of Congress, Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy."
Southwest Michigan Republican Congressman Fred Upton of St. Joseph said, "Paul is a friend, a fellow Midwesterner, and a bold leader who has a blueprint to get our nation's fiscal house back in order."
Long time South Bend Tribune political columnist Jack Colwell sat down with WSBT, saying he was surprised by Romney's choice and he sees it as a potential game-changer as Romney tries to fire up the conservative Republican base, especially in the swing states.
"This is kind of dropping back and throwing the bomb, really trying to change things," Colwell said.
"Maybe it will work and maybe again it won't," Colwell adds.
Colwell says a lot of voters won't even know who Ryan is and will have to get to know him in the coming months.
"I think Indiana is going to go for Romney no matter who he picks for vice president. There are some reservations on that. He could pick almost anybody and he would carry Indiana. Now in Michigan, I don't think he's got a very good chance of carrying Michigan. I think President Obama is likely to. I doubt the choice will affect that much at all," Colwell predicts.
Colwell believes Ryan's stance on Medicare reform and Social Security reform will likely get a lot of attention in the run up to November.
Colwell contrasted Romney's choice of Ryan in 2012 with John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for the GOP ticket in 2008. "She energized the base for awhile, but she wasn't ready for prime time. Paul Ryan will energize the base, but I have a feeling he is ready for prime time," Colwell said, joking that Ryan would at least be able to state which newspapers he reads and to name some famous Supreme Court cases. Those questions tripped up Palin in 2008 in a widely televised interview.