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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio allies OK with Ryan as VP



ryan.jpegMitt Romney this morning is expected to named as his running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, architect of an ambitious plan to reshape government and overhaul Medicare.

That ends hopes for Sen. Marco Rubio, whom many conservatives though would be the best choice, though the Florida Republican had seemed to slip from contention.

Ryan is a young conservative star who could excite the base. In recent days he was pushed by conservative activists and elders, such as the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Rubio allies in Florida say he's a good choice.

"Paul Ryan is an inspired choice," said one Florida Republican. "He's a pro-life Catholic, devoted husband and father, and a true reform conservative in the mold of Jeb Bush. It conveys the seriousness with which Mitt Romney views this election and the urgency needed to confront America's challenges that he chose Ryan. Given the fiscal cliff that our country is rapidly approaching, and Ryan's bold vision for saving us from it, Paul Ryan may well be the most consequential vice presidential pick in modern presidential history."

Ryan, 42, is a year older than Rubio so age did not seem to be a deterrent for Rubio. Ryan has been in Congress longer and his Ryan budget plan has emerged as a conservative marker in the debate over the future of the country. He seemed to have a natural rapport with Romney.

Ryan's budget plan, however bold, has political downsides.

Democrats have for two years pilloried his ideas, particularly the overhaul of Medicare. In Florida, home to many senior voters, that could be tumultuous ground for Romney and his running mate.

Cue Saturday's attack response from Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC.

[Last modified: Saturday, August 11, 2012 7:30am]


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