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South Florida Lawmakers Tow Party Line On Romney VP Pick

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MIAMI (CBS4) – South Florida lawmakers are sticking to the party line when it comes to reacting to Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.

“I’m energized about the ticket,” Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Saturday. “He brings a lot of charisma and energy and fiscal sanity to this broken system in D.C.”

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen said she knows many South Floridians were rooting for Sen. Marco Rubio to get the Vice-Presidential nod.

“People may be disappointed that it isn’t Marco, but Marco is excited about the Paul Ryan selection because he understands the Ryan plan works,” said Ros-Lehtinen.

Sen. Rubio issued a statement Saturday, saying in part, “Paul Ryan is a courageous reformer who understands our nation’s challenges, has proposed bold policy solutions to solve them, and has shown the courage to stand up to President Obama.”

But Democrats are already slamming the choice as a move that could hurt the middle class.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would drag us back to the failed policies of the past that got us into this mess in the first place,” Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz told CBS 4 News in a phone interview Saturday.

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz serves on the budget committee under Congressman Ryan. She said the selection is bad for South Florida seniors.

“I really was appalled that Mitt Romney would double down on the idea that we should end Medicare as we know it, that we should turn Medicare into a voucher system as Congressman Ryan’s budget plan does.”

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen countered by saying Rep. Ryan’s budget plan won’t end Medicare, but rather change it for the better.

“Medicare is not going to be slashed. Social Security is not going to be slashed,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “What Paul Ryan does is bring fiscal sanity to this budget run amok. We have to quit spending money we don’t have.”

Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement on the Romney-Ryan ticket.

“Like Governor Romney, Congressman Ryan understands that government doesn’t create jobs, people do. And that the best way to create jobs is to get government out of the way,” Gov. Scott said. “I’m confident that Congressman Ryan will be a great partner for Governor Romney in getting America back to work.”

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson took aim at the Romney-Ryan ticket on his Facebook page. He wrote, “Romney VP pick bad for seniors. Signals an end to Medicare as we know it. My commitment to Medicare never stronger.”

el palacio de los jugos South Florida Lawmakers Tow Party Line On Romney VP Pick

Workers prepare stage for Mitt Romney’s appearance on Monday. (Source: Natalia Zea/CBS4)

The Romney campaign is on a bus tour that will stop in South Florida on Monday. Romney is expected to address the crowd at El Palacio de los Jugos August 13th at 5:25 p.m. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.

The owner of the restaurant, Reinaldo Bermudez, said he was very excited to host the presumptive GOP nominee.

“This place is going to be another place by the time Monday comes,” Bermudez said. He’s making some improvements to his Coral Way location in anticipation of the event.

“Whatever they want we’re here to support him,” he said.

Bermudez said he was disappointed Sen. Rubio wasn’t selected for the VP job, but he thinks Rep. Ryan is a good choice, especially for entrepreneurs.

“I think the business and the economy, he’ll give a big boost to the economy,” Bermudez said.

After the event at the restaurant, Romney will head to a private fundraiser in Broward, where our news partners at The Miami Herald report Paul Ryan’s mother lives part-time in Lauderdale by the Sea.

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