Local Party Leaders Comment on Paul Ryan
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Madison County leaders of both major political parties believe Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate will benefit their parties in the long run.
Madison County Republican Party chairman John Noel said it was a great choice for Romney’s campaign.
“We had no idea who was going to be selected, there was a long list, and I don’t think they could have done better,” Noel said.
“He’s really smart, he’s energetic, and he’s a hard worker.”
Madison County Democratic Party chairman Clete Wetli said he was thrilled by the decision because it will help Barack Obama in his campaign for reelection.
“We’re happy in the sense that what this does is reinforces the ideological split that the parties seem to have,” Wetli said.
“Romney has walked in lock step with Ryan, and when you look at the Ryan budget plan, all it does is increase the wealth disparity in this country by giving more tax breaks to the rich,” he said.
“It also is going to eviscerate social services, as there are going to be huge cuts to the social programs desperately needed by the Americans.”
Ryan is a change from a recent trend in minority candidates such as Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Obama himself.
Minority names speculated by Republican strategists included Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, or Condoleezza Rice.
“I don’t think Paul Ryan will have any impact on minority voters except to drive them away,” Wetli said.
“Even at the announcement there were perhaps only a handful of African-Americans or even Latinos in the audience.
“It was almost exclusively an anglo-white audience.”
Wetli said the Ryan announcement will steer more moderates and independents to the democrats.
“Ryan really represents the party of ‘no’ and the obstructionist congress, so if Mitt Romney wants to align himself with that radical right-wing Tea Party party of ‘no’, how does he expect to get the moderate vote?”
Noel said Republicans see Ryan as someone who stands for core conservative issues, and whose youth and energy will appeal to moderates.
“His family values–he has three children which looks good, he’s got a nice wife–and he’s concerned about their future,” Noel said.
“If we don’t get this thing turned around, they’re not going to have any future.”
The Republican chairman said Romney has not been as aggressive as he could have been.
He said Ryan will be aggressive, to strengthen and solidify the Romney campaign.
“He’s the type of person who will go right after Obama and he won’t take any guff from him,” he said.
“[Ryan's] faced him before when they had the meetings between the Congress and the White House to talk about health care. He faced him and faced him down and was going right after him.
“He’s the kind of person we need, he’s the kind of person that will strengthen the party, strengthen the campaign, and help us win Alabama,” Noel said.
Paul Ryan appears a divisive figure between Democrats and Republicans, and both parties believe his vice presidential nomination will help their side in November.