U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta said Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made a wise choice designating Paul Ryan as his vice president.
‚??I know him well,‚?Ě Barletta said Saturday from his Hazleton home.
Barletta said Ryan, a fellow Republican congressman from Wisconsin, will be ‚??an invaluable resource to the ticket and the American people.‚?Ě
‚??Having worked with Paul Ryan, I can say there‚??s nobody in Congress who knows the federal budget better than he does,‚?Ě Barletta said.
Romney and Ryan have the expertise to offer solutions to fix the economy, cut red tape at the capital, attack the federal deficit and save needed federal programs, he said. The Romney-Ryan ticket also offers a ‚??clear contrast to the failed policies‚?Ě of President Barack Obama that have ‚??made our economy worse,‚?Ě he said.
The political world buzzed with opinions for and against Romney‚??s selection after he made the announcement Saturday.
Pennsylvania resident Rick Santorum, a former Republican presidential candidate and chairman of the grassroots and online community Patriot Voices, issued a statement saying the selection of Ryan demonstrates Romney‚??s ‚??commitment to returning fiscal sanity‚?Ě to the U.S. capital.
Ryan‚??s knowledge on how to fix the county‚??s economic problems is ‚??unparalleled,‚?Ě Santorum said.
‚??In addition to Congressman Ryan‚??s stellar fiscal conservative positions, he is indeed a full-spectrum conservative. He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national security priorities,‚?Ě he wrote.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party issued a statement criticizing Ryan‚??s fiscal views.
‚??Ryan is the author of a budget plan that will increase taxes for the middle class and end Medicare as we know it, all to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,‚?Ě the party‚??s release said.
Ryan‚??s appointment was the ‚??talk of the town‚?Ě among area Democrats Saturday, said Luzerne County Democratic Chairman Bob Boyer.
‚??I think a lot of Democrats are happy with this pick. It may have just won Obama the election,‚?Ě Boyer said.
He does not believe the majority of voters will support Ryan‚??s proposal to open Medicare to more private competition. Ryan argues changes are necessary to ensure the service is sustained for future retirees. Ryan also wants to reduce funding for food stamps and student loans, Boyer said.
‚??All these programs needed by so many people seem to have a bull‚??s-eye on them,‚?Ě Boyer said. ‚??The principals of the Democratic candidates in this election are clearly better for the majority in America.‚?Ě
The county‚??s Republican Party Chairman Bill Urbanski disagrees, saying Obama‚??s record has been ‚??abysmal.‚?Ě He described Romney and Ryan as ‚??the comeback team for America.‚?Ě
‚??I‚??ve been a big fan of Paul Ryan for a number of years,‚?Ě Urbanski said. ‚??I think he is extremely bright and very capable.‚?Ě
G. Terry Madonna, professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, said Romney‚??s selection of Ryan brings the campaign into focus for voters.
‚??It provides definition and a sense of direction and turns the campaign into a much clearer choice for the American people on what direction they want the country to go in,‚?Ě Madonna said.
Ryan should be a ‚??good match‚?Ě against incumbent Vice President Joe Biden in debates, he said.
Biden, who lived in Scranton in his early childhood, has ‚??down-to-earth approach‚?Ě and appeal to blue collar workers, Madonna said.
The 42-year-old Ryan is an outgoing and energetic outdoorsman and ‚??young family guy,‚?Ě he said.
With seven terms as a congressman under his belt, Ryan will be a ‚??very good campaigner‚?Ě and not afraid to criticize Obama or highlight distinctions between the two campaigns, Madonna said.
Ryan also is ‚??one of the few politicians‚?Ě willing to offer tangible solutions for Medicare and other programs, Madonna said, noting Ryan‚??s suggested fiscal reforms already are under opposition attack.