Governor Romney gave his new running mate a very warm introduction this morning, detailing elements of Ryan's middle class, Catholic, Midwestern biography and praising the 42-year-old's serious solutions for fixing America's entrenched problems. Anticipating mendacious Left-wing attacks on Paul Ryan's bipartisan Medicare reform for future seniors, Romney emphasized that President Obama has slashed more than half-a-trillion from the program (to fund a new and unpopular entitlement program), and that the Republican plan is geared toward saving and preserving Medicare and Social Security. Expect to hear this theme a lot. Ryan echoed it during his speech, telling the audience that the Romney/Ryan ticket will have the courage to tell voters the truth. This will be the heart of the 2012 campaign, in my opinion. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will assess America's fiscal picture with clear-eyed realism, then make their very best pitch the American public about why the status quo is utterly unsustainable. Unsustainable on growth, unsustainable on jobs, unsustainable on debt. They will present their solutions to the public, explain their reasoning, and trust the people to make the right choice. Meanwhile, Democrats will continue to mislead the American people. They will contend that the dark clouds gathering overhead are someone else's fault, and pretend that they'll clear up with some tax hikes on rich people and additional government "investments." They will mischaracterize and demonize -- over and over again -- the GOP's plans, distorting Ryan's budget proposals beyond recognition in a bid to scare voters, especially senior citizens. This White House has already admitted that they don't have their own proactive solutions to our systemic problems. The Democrat-held Senate hasn't even attempted to lead, shirking their legally-required duties for more than three years in a row. This is the choice. Will the duo committed to protecting the American dream for future generations prevail, or will the team offering platitudes, no new ideas, and dangerous (but seductive) self-delusion carry the day?
As for the address itself, Ryan's delivery was a bit stilted at times; he's not accustomed to the big crowd-teleprompter setting. He'll work on this ahead of the RNC at the end of the month, which will present his biggest stage by far. But his message was clear and uplifting. He'll be terrific on the stump, on television, in townhalls and in debates. He has a beautiful young family and a genuine earnestness about helping the country he loves. Mitt Romney has decided to make this a big election about meaningful ideas. It would have been safer to run a negative, "we aren't Obama" campaign, but I'm not sure if that would have quite sufficed to oust the incumbent at the end of the day. The Romney/Ryan ticket will stare down our challenges and put forth desperately needed (and politically risky) solutions, knowing full well that Democrats will crank up their attack machine to heretofore unseen levels. In November, the American people will choose between bold, responsible, conservative solutions, and the blame, the failed policies and the endless demagoguery of the current administration. If smart, competent, and articulate guys like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can't sell fiscal sanity in times like these, we may be doomed anyway. My view is, let's go. Let's have this debate, and let the chips fall where they may.
UPDATE - Here's the complete text of Ryan's speech, via Andrew Malcolm.