The Wall Street Journal on Thursday endorsed U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as the GOP's vice presidential nominee, saying the Wisconsin Republican deserves a spot on Mitt Romney's presidential ticket.
The editorial page of the fiscally conservative paper said Ryan has earned the position because of his proposals last year to reform Medicaid as well as the U.S. tax structure. Ryan is a seven-term congressman and chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Praising Ryan, the Journal said, "Against the advice of every Beltway bedwetter, he has put entitlement reform at the center of the public agenda - before it becomes a crisis that requires savage cuts."
But Ryan has come under heavy fire from Democrats who say he would endanger entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the name of fiscal responsibility. Democrats argue that such programs are not in as much danger as Republicans claim.
However, the Journal argued that Romney could lose the election without a "bold choice."
"Mr. Obama and the Democrats want to make this a small election over small things - Mitt's taxes, his wealth, Bain Capital. As the last two months have shown, Mr. Romney will lose that kind of election," the Journal editors wrote. "To win, Mr. Romney and the Republicans have to rise above those smaller issues and cast the choice as one about the overall direction and future of the country."
As have many prominent conservatives, the Journal's editors said Ryan is a "new generation" of reformer that the GOP needs instead of old formulas.
"The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election," the editorial writers said. "More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline."
Romney is said to be considering a number of leading GOP names for his running mate, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, among others.
Several of those have repeatedly said in media interviews that they are not interested in the selection, although others - most notably Portman and Christie - have left the door open.
The Republican National Convention is at the end of this month in Tampa, Florida. Romney is expected to announce his running mate pick just before that event.
by RTT Staff Writer
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