Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's Vice President selection today of Congressman Paul Ryan has stirred up a frenzy of activity in Connecticut's political scene.
Chris Shays, a former Congressman who is facing off against Linda McMahon Tuesday in the Republican Primary for Connecticut's U.S. Senate seat, calls Ryan a "great pick."
"Governor Romney could not have made a better choice for his running mate than his decision to name my friend and former colleague, Congressman Paul Ryan," Shays said, adding, in his , "He is an experienced leader, trying to restore fiscal sanity to Washington."
Meanwhile, Congressman Chris Murphy (D-5) took Romney's announcement as an opportunity to engage McMahon. In Tuesday's Primary, Democrats will choose between Murphy and Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut's former Secretary of the State. Bysiewicz has not yet made a statement about Romney's pick.
The Murphy campaign said, "This morning, Linda McMahon tried to reverse her position on the massive cuts to Medicare contained in Congressman Paul Ryan’s disastrous budget plan."
“Linda McMahon said just months ago that she supports 'some' of Congressman Ryan’s disastrous plan, including 'taking a look' at its massive cuts to Medicare,” said Murphy spokeswoman Taylor Lavender. “So, which parts of Congressman Ryan’s plan does she support? And why hasn’t she endorsed her party’s nominee for vice president?"
"Chris Murphy would never endorse a presidential or vice presidential candidate who would give massive tax breaks to the wealthiest individuals and corporations that ship American jobs overseas, shift costs onto middle class families already struggling to make ends meet, and force over 575,000 Connecticut seniors to pay more out of pocket costs for their health care by ending Medicare as we know it.”
McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss pushed back.
“Leave it to Chris Murphy to take the news of the day and use it to try to distract from the fact that he has no plan to create jobs and improve the economy," Bliss says in a statement. “Linda McMahon will never support a budget that cuts Medicare."
So far, not in a statement or in any posts on her social media networks, has McMahon lended her outright support to Paul Ryan.
Romney announced the decision in a press release Saturday morning, titled “America’s Comeback Team,” as well as through his “Mitt’s VP” smart phone app.
The Huffington Post notes that both liberals and conservatives will be “thrilled” with Romney’s choice.
Ryan, 42, is in his seventh term in Congress representing Wisconsin’s First Congressional District. He’s also a chairman of the House Budget Committee, and last year he unveiled a counter budget titled “Roadmap for America’s Future,” which proposed to eliminate the federal deficit over a multi-year period.
Democrats and liberals derided the budget, however, saying it focused more on cuts to spending for social programs and less on tax cuts for the wealthy.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat seeking re-election representing Connecticut's Third Congressional District, also responded to the news:
“America is going to have a conversation about the choice before us this November. Thanks to his last two proposed budgets, we all know what Paul Ryan’s vision for America is. The American middle class will face higher taxes and less help with education. Seniors will get a voucher and higher bills for health care. And the children of the most vulnerable will get pushed back into poverty."
Steve Obsitnik, a Republican running to unseat Democrat Jim Himes in the Fourth Congressional District, offered this:
"In selecting Rep. Ryan to be his Vice President, Gov. Romney is drawing the starkest of contrasts between himself and the President."
"This election may come down to a single issue: 'Should the federal government continue down its present path of fiscal irresponsibility, or has the time come to get our financial house in order?'"
"All across Connecticut’s 4th District families work hard to make ends meet; they make the tough decisions on their budgets and try to save money for a rainy day. Our government should act like our families. We need fiscal responsibility for today while investing in the future."
Himes has not yet released a statement on the news.