Was Paul Ryan the smart choice?
Picking Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate has certainly given Mitt Romney’s campaign a boost of energy. But as our Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Erin Billups explains, there’s a debate in the nation’s Capitol on whether selecting Ryan was a good move and whether it could also have an impact on the many close Congressional races underway across the country.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Mitt Romney now has his running mate and together they're making the case against President Obama.
"Without a doubt, President Obama inherited a very tough situation. Here's the problem, he made it worse," Vice Presidential Nominee Representative Paul Ryan said.
But there’s debate on both sides of the aisle that Romney's VP pick may make his chances worse. Democrats are hoping Ryan's conservative views will not only win Obama the election, but also benefit candidates further down on the ticket.
"This in some ways gives them a get out of jail free card. Because what they can say is 'I don't agree with the President on everything but I certainly can't support a republican agenda that would end Medicare,'" said democratic strategist Doug Thornell.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, though, says it’s ready for any Ryan-based attacks, coaching members not to hide from the fight.
"We have 23 million Americans unemployed in this country, 41 months of record high unemployment. It's clear that they would rather scare seniors than talk about the economy," said Andrea Bozek, National Republican Congressional Committee Spokeswoman.
But while President Obama continues to distance himself from Congress, criticizing the GOP led house for its partisanship…
"You've got another party that thinks compromise is a dirty word," Obama said.
…In choosing Ryan, Romney, who has largely stayed out of the fights on the Hill, has seemingly aligned himself with the House GOP.
Thornell said, "Now he's going to have to defend being a part of what is the most unpopular Congress we've seen in recent history."
Republicans, though, see the glass as more than half full.
"Congressman Ryan and House Republicans have led the fight for fiscal responsibility in Washington. I think that they've changed the conversation to not if we should cut, but how much should we cut," Bozek said.
As both candidates have said this election will come down to fundamental beliefs and Ryan helps Romney create that clear dividing line.