MIAMI (CBSMiami/Herald) — Florida conservatives aren’t the only ones celebrating after Paul Ryan was named as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate on Saturday morning.
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is the architect of the Ryan budget plan that makes big changes to Medicare and Medicaid and could allow for some privatization of Social Security.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports that is widely seen by Democrats and most analysts as a politically risky stance in Florida, a must-win state for Republicans, where retirees cast a suspicious eye on changes to the three major government-entitlement programs that pump about $96 billion yearly into the hands of the elderly, the infirm and the hospitals, doctors and other providers who give them direct care.
By picking Ryan, Romney shows he’s ready to fight for conservative changes to the liberal-legacy programs.
“We won’t duck the tough issues…we will lead!” Ryan said in his official acceptance speech in Norfolk, Virg. “We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility! We won’t replace our founding principles…we will reapply them!”
Democrats are ready, too, for a battle of ideas.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said Saturday morning that “He, like Mitt Romney, has seriously flawed ideas for our economy that have only failed us in the past.”
Schultz references Romney’s “budget-busting scheme” which she said gives an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires and “punishes” middle-class families with up to $2,000 in tax hikes a year.
“This tried and failed trickle-down economics scheme is familiar and troubling,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat, slammed Ryan’s plans for Social Security, tweeting “Paul Ryan wants to privatize Social Security. Looking forward to welcoming Mitt and his pick to Florida,” . “There’s nothing brave about cutting the programs that America’s seniors rely on for their health and financial security.”
Ryan has one direct Florida tie to its aging population: His mother is a part-time resident of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
In addition to talking more about Medicare and Republican plans to scale it back, Democrats won’t have to face their nemesis, Sen. Marco Rubio, on a statewide ticket for the second election in a row in Florida, a state that Rubio as a running-mate would have put more in play for Romney, polls showed.
Read the Miami Herald’s full article to learn about Ryan’s proposed changes to Medicare, along with what strategists from both parties think about Ryan’s policies helping or hurting Romney.