Friday, August 17, 2012

Middle East: Romney and Ryan

Al Jazeera

Is Romney 'Ryan's man'?
As the Republican presidential candidate chooses a staunch conservative as running mate, we analyse their politics.
Mitt Romney, the US Republican presidential candidate, has struggled to solidify support from the most conservative wing of the Republican Party. And it is for that reason, many analysts say, that he chose Paul Ryan to be his running mate.

"If you look at [Ryan's] background he doesn't truly understand the needs a lot of Americans have and the need that they have for social programmes to pull them out of poverty, and it has for many millions of Americans."
- Wendell Potter, a senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity
Ryan, 42, is a congressman from Wisconsin and a staunch conservative, both fiscally and socially. He believes in giving fertilised embryos full rights – essentially equating abortion with murder. And he is a climate change skeptic.

Among other things, Ryan proposed privatising social security in 2004, supports replacing Medicaid with a voucher programme, and as congressman voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He voted to give bailout money to banks and the US auto industry, voted against a law that demanded equal pay for women, co-sponsored a bill that would ban in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and co-sponsored a bill to ban abortions in cases of rape and incest.

But when Romney refers to him as the intellectual leader of the Republican Party, he is most likely referring to his reputation as a deficit hawk.

"Romney doesn't have a budget. He has a series of proposals that seem to be very fluid …. Romney chose Ryan as his running mate because his campaign has been so ill-defined and he is seeking definition with the party base. He wants core Republicans to think he's a Ryan man."
- John Nichols, a political writer
In 2011, he proposed a budget plan that would reduce government spending by more than $5 trillion over 10 years.
According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, most of the cuts would come from programmes that help the country's poorest.
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