McDonnell's Advice to Ryan: Speak from the Heart

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)

The man who gave the response to last year's State of the Union address thinks this year's pick will do a "masterful job." But, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell does have some advice for Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) who gets the call this year.

McDonnell says Ryan should, "Take it, boil it down to simple facts. The president has an hour, you got 10 minutes when you deliver your response. You've got to speak in very simple, easy to understand terms to cover the ground that you want."

McDonnell says he watched the majority of the President's speech last year, but says it didn't lead him to make any changes to his response. He knew the general themes the President planned to hit on ahead of time, and didn't feel the need to change anything.

Like McDonnell, Ryan is considered a rising star in the Republican party. Last year, McDonnell gave his response from the Virginia state Capitol surrounded by about 250 family members, friends, advisers, and donors. 

"It felt great to be with a live audience," he said, calling it "a suitable contrast for a Governor and a President."

This year, Ryan will make a more traditional return to the Hill for his response. The new Chairman of the House Budget Committee is slated to give his response from the committee's hearing room. While McDonnell's address was generally well received, that was not the case with his predecessor -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). Jindal was widely criticized for giving a very flat speech from the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge.

So what advice does McDonnell have for Ryan about his delivery? "I would tell him, look at the camera, speak from his heart, and be clear about why this incredible deficit and increased debt is bad for the long-term prosperity of the United States."

All that said, McDonnell is confident Ryan will do a good job on Tuesday. "Paul Ryan is great messenger for Republican party, specifically when it come to fiscal responsibility" he said, adding that "He's a gifted spokesman who can take in the complex issues of the federal financing and make it simple."