Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Republicans Here Applaud Choice; They Cite Ryan's Energy, Charisma, Economic Common Sense; ELECTIONS 2012

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Republicans Here Applaud Choice; They Cite Ryan's Energy, Charisma, Economic Common Sense; ELECTIONS 2012

Article excerpt

Top Republicans in the bistate region say Mitt Romney's choice of running mate infuses the GOP ticket with energy while enabling the party to draw sharper distinctions with Democrats on debt and spending.

"I think he brings the message back to talking about the issues," said Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau. "I think that's important because it's been about other stuff."

Romney's selection of the Wisconsin congressman and Budget Committee chairman allows Democrats to sharpen their focus on Medicare, which would undergo significant change under the budget that Ryan shepherded through the House. Nonetheless, Republicans in the region praised Ryan for his discipline and his commitment to righting the nation's financial ship.

"This is the debate we have to have; we have to address these problems," Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, said in an interview. "Paul Ryan has been a leader on fiscal issues, and the president has failed to lead."

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said in a statement that by choosing Ryan, "Republicans send the strongest possible message that we will deal with debt and spending and create jobs."

Ryan's addition to the ticket promises to be an issue in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri between incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican challenger, Rep. Todd Akin, who won the GOP nomination Tuesday.

Akin has been a vocal supporter of the so-called Ryan budget and the far-reaching changes it embraces, and Akin is not shying away now that Ryan is on the national ticket.

In a statement, Akin said he was "thrilled" by Romney's selection and called it "a fantastic choice."

"He has a great understanding of our current economic situation and has had the courage to lead with real solutions in the U.S. House," Akin's statement read.

Akin recalled being a colleague of Ryan's on the Budget Committee: "I am proud to have worked with him and I'm glad to see that his charisma and economic common sense will be joining forces with Gov. …

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