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August 11, 2012

Ryan is no stranger to Texas

Gov. Rick Perry and former President George W. Bush praise the GOP vice presidential selection, while Democrats blast him as a throwback “to the failed Bush-Cheney approach.”

Paul Ryan is no stranger to Texans.

The newly anointed Republican vice presidential nominee was a keynote speaker at the state Republican Party's convention in Fort Worth this summer and he traveled to Texas vouching for Ted Cruz, who last month claimed the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat Kay Bailey Hutchison will leave next year.

"In Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a champion of fiscal sanity and a formidable advocate for policies that will get our country back on the right path," Cruz said Saturday.

"When it comes to the federal budget, we can't afford four more years of reckless, runaway spending. As the next President and Vice President of the United States, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will lead an administration that finally brings fiscal responsibility back to Washington," he said.

While Cruz and other top Texas Republicans from Gov. Rick Perry to former President George W. Bush were quick to praise Romney's pick, Texas Democrats had a vastly different view, and predicted that choosing Ryan will help President Barack Obama win reelection.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin did say that Ryan is a "bright and articulate" man. But that's about the only positive thing Doggett had to say about him.

"Ryan represents a younger version of Rick Perry policies without the rough edges and 'oops' moments," Doggett said in a post on Facebook. "I like him; I just don't like his policies, which are not a return to our founding principles but only a reversal to the failed Bush-Cheney approach."

Perry, a former GOP presidential candidate himself who quickly became allies with the last GOP vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, said Romney made a good decision in choosing Ryan.

"The choice of conservative budget hawk Paul Ryan underscores Mitt Romney's commitment to downsizing Washington, fixing our economy and restoring American job creation," he said. "Paul Ryan will energize economic voters, young voters and blue collar voters who know President Obama is destroying American jobs and hope for the future.

"This is an exciting choice that underscores the Republican Party's commitment to American job creation and fiscal responsibility."

Former President George W. Bush also offered praise.

"This is a strong pick," said Bush, who lives in Dallas. "Gov. Romney is serious about confronting the long-term challenges facing America and Paul Ryan will help him solve the difficult issues that must be addressed for future generations."

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who lost his U.S. Senate bid to Cruz this summer, said Ryan is a good addition to the November general election ballot.

"Congressman Ryan has been a champion of cutting deficits and shrinking government for years and his solution-based approach to our fiscal challenges is a welcome contrast to Obama's habitual course of spend, borrow and blame," Dewhurst said. "Congressman Ryan and Gov. Romney have the passion, the intellectual credentials and the experience to help lead America towards greater opportunity, fiscal responsibility and millions of more jobs.

"I look forward to working to elect Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan in November."

Democratic response

Doggett said he doesn't think Republicans are charting the right course for the country.

"I disagree that the only way to bring more balance to the federal budget is to make it more difficult for seniors to balance their personal budgets--that we cannot afford to commit more for educational opportunity but can afford to provide more tax cuts to the privileged few and the corporate tax dodgers," he said in his Facebook post.

Other Democrats used Saturday's news to say the choice of Ryan could make it harder for some Texas Republicans -- such as U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions of North Texas -- to find re-election.

"No matter how hard House Republicans like Congressman Pete Sessions may try to run and hide, he can no longer cover up his budget that would deeply cut Medicare so he can give tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil, and companies shipping jobs overseas," said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "The Republican budget is now Congressman Sessions' running mate as he must defend the indefensible - more tax cuts for millionaires and higher health care bills for seniors on Medicare. The American people have rejected Congressman Sessions' support of Ryan's plan time after time and will do it again this November."

Texas state Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, posted on Twitter that "the Republican Presidential ticket is perhaps the biggest threat to Medicare we have ever seen."

Texas ties

During the Republican Party of Texas' state convention in Fort Worth this summer, Ryan drew applause and standing ovations from thousands of GOP delegates.

While he never mentioned Romney's name during his speech, he told Texans that this year's election is not an "ordinary election."

He said the country faces a looming debt crisis because "we've had politicians from both political parties making empty promises to voters that are soon going to become broken promises."

Ryan said Obama has done little to fix that and now likely is "going to divide this country in order to distract this country to win votes."

And he urged Texans to work hard and "leave it all on the field" so that Wednesday, Nov. 7 they can wake up "and know this is the first day we get our country back on track."

Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley

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