Monday, August 13, 2012

Germany: Paul Ryan

Der Spiegel

The World from Berlin 'Ryan Is a Radical Ideologue'

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has tapped Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan, 42, has called for radical cuts to the social system. German newspapers argue he will make an easy target for the Democrats and could strengthen President Barack Obama's position. 

The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"By choosing conservative chief ideologist Ryan, Romney has finally accepted that far more is at play on Nov. 6 that just a referendum on Obama's (admittedly modest) performance. This election will actually be a vote on two fundamentally different visions of America's domestic composition."

"The country will experience a bloody duel that will pit Obama, a self-proclaimed defender of the middle class, against Romney, a staunch believer in the markets and archetypal capitalist. It's the kind of sharp contrast that the Republican candidate has so far tried to avoid."

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

"The Republican Romney has now chosen Congressman Ryan, a 'super hawk' on fiscal issues. By doing so, Romney is putting all his eggs in one basket: budget consolidation and supply-side economics. Ryan is popular with the party base, but his ability to attract swing voters is likely to be limited. Although they may be dissatisfied with the current situation, it is unlikely that a radical restructuring of the social system will warm their hearts, either. Obama is likely to see Ryan's selection as an invitation to further demonize Romney."

The business daily Handelsblatt writes:

"... Romney is instead trying to do what John McCain did four years ago with his choice of Sarah Palin. He's trying to change the dynamic of the election campaign. Like Palin, governor of Alaska at the time, 42-year-old Paul Ryan is a politician who divides people. Even today, Palin is either revered or hated. Ryan isn't much different: To some, he is a right-wing conservative fiscal ideologist. To others he is a man courageously fighting against the debtor nation."

"Romney's strategic calculus is clear. He, himself a procrastinator, dawdler and notorious opportunitist, is viewed by the conservative wing of his party as being too liberal.
The leftist Die Tageszeitung writes: 

"Ryan has a reputation as a hardliner -- one who can speak directly to the angry soul of the Tea Party base. Ryan wants to lower taxes (also for the highest earners), he wants to further cut social benefits (including food stamps for the needy and government healthcare for pensioners), he wants to limit the authority of environmental protection agencies, he disputes the existence of climate change, he is against abortion, opposes same-sex marriages and he would like to increase military expenditures."

The financial daily Financial Times Deutschland writes:

"Certainly, Ryan is not Palin. He is more cosmopolitan than the former Alaska governor -- and he could help to win his home state of Wisconsin, an important swing state, for the Republicans. With his budget plan, he has also presented one that his party can identify with."

"But he also brings along characteristics that will provide numerous points of attack for the Democrats during the campaign. As the Republicans' leading point man on budget issues, he largely represents policies that would reduce the tax burden for the richest while increasing the burdens on the socially weak classes."

Read it at Der Spiegel:

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