Republicans on Saturday rallied around Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president, saying the House budget guru brings strong conservative credentials to the GOP ticket and reinforces the campaign’s message that big government is ruining America.
“Romney-Ryan will get our fiscal house in order and get Americans working again,” New Hampshire GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte said.
Ayotte, who had been mentioned as a 2012 potential vice presidential candidate, made the comments on her Twitter account, adding that Ryan was a “fantastic choice.”
Republican strategist John Brabender told FoxNews.com that choosing Ryan “shows Romney is making a concerted effort to get the economy back on solid fiscal ground.”
Brabender, a long-time strategist for Rick Santorum, also said the Ryan choice will go beyond pleasing the Republican Party’s conservative wing to where the entire party will “overwhelmingly embrace” Romney’s choice.
“The choice says what we believe in is what we will be campaigning on,” Brabender said.
Republicans also hailed the pick because Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, Republicans is a known quantity – a pragmatist, devout Catholic and strong fiscal conservative.
The married father of three children is known for his steadiness and discipline. Though Romney expects attacks on Ryan’s budget proposal, he also knows that Ryan’s non-nonsense approach to his political career limits concerns about unknowns and gaffes.
Republican strategist Ed Rollins pointed out Saturday morning on Fox News that the presidential candidates who have won the majority of the Catholic vote in the past nine elections have won the White House.
Democrats were quick to attack Ryan and his budget, saying it would protect tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of Medicare and other entitlement programs. They also said Ryan's conservative views could be a setback for the advancement of women's health issues.
Ryan should also help Romney in the swing state of Wisconsin, which President Obama won by 14 percentage points in 2008.
The last Republican candidate to win that state was Ronald Reagan in 1984. The most recent Marquette University poll has Obama now leading Romney by 5 percentage points in Wisconsin.
Ryan’s favorability peaked in May at roughly 42 percent, compared to an unfavorable rating of roughly 42 percent. His numbers are now 31 favorable, compared to 21 percent unfavorable, according to Talking Points Memo’s polltracker.
“Governor Romney showed today that he is determined to confront a host of growing crises that President Obama has ignored,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. “Where the current president has simply refused to act, Governor Romney has now pledged to lead. Paul Ryan is an excellent choice.”
Other Republicans also took to their Twitter accounts Saturday morning after the Romney campaign officially announced the Ryan choice.
“Congratulations and blessings to my friend (Paul Ryan.) A fantastic choice and great partner to (Mitt Romney.) They will save America,” Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said on his Twitter account.