State of the Union 2011: Who is Paul Ryan?(Read article summary)
Rep. Paul Ryan has been chosen to give the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address. Why did Republicans choose this seven-term Congressman from Wisconsin?
Scott Anderson/journal times/AP
And now Rep. Paul Ryan is the man whoâ€™ll deliver Republicansâ€™ response to Mr. Obamaâ€™s State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
He may be a seven-term congressman, whoâ€™s now Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, but on first blush Mr. Ryan looks and acts like the average white yuppie dad youâ€™d see tailgating at a Green Bay Packers game in his native Wisconsin.
Itâ€™s that casual, everyman exterior â€“ with a budget-wonk brain â€“ thatâ€™s made Ryan a Republican up-and-comer.
Heâ€™s best known for his â€śRoadmap for Americaâ€™s Future,â€ť which would dramatically decrease federal deficits, including by attacking social security. And heâ€™s one of the founders of the GOP â€śyoung gunsâ€ť leadership group. Although, interestingly, he didnâ€™t attend the young gunsâ€™ roll-out last fall of their Pledge to America â€“ perhaps because it didnâ€™t do enough to tackle the deficit.
Heâ€™s conservative â€“ having worked for Republican stalwarts William Bennett, Jack Kemp, and Sam Brownback early in his career. He may not get as rhetorically fired-up as some Tea Party icons, but heâ€™s certainly in sync with Tea Party philosophy, telling a Monitor opinion writer recently, â€śThe progressive movement and ideology is a repressive, big-brother movement that drains you of your freedom and liberty, and therefore of your prosperity... The government is taking away your discretion, taking away your choices.â€ť
For a preview of how heâ€™ll likely handle Mr. Obama on Tuesday, hereâ€™s a video clip of Mr. Ryan at a Monitor Breakfast last month.