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Mitt Romney selects U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as running mate (Poll added)

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. introduces Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney before Romney spoke at the Grain Exchange in Milwaukee, in this April 3, 2012 file photo. Romney has picked Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate, according to a Republican with knowledge of the development. They will appear together Saturday Aug. 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Va., at the start of a four-state bus tour to introduce the newly minted GOP ticket to the nation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. introduces Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney before Romney spoke at the Grain Exchange in Milwaukee, in this April 3, 2012 file photo. Romney has picked Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate, according to a Republican with knowledge of the development. They will appear together Saturday Aug. 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Va., at the start of a four-state bus tour to introduce the newly minted GOP ticket to the nation. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Reader poll

Do you think Paul Ryan was a good choice for Veep?

  • Yes 72%
  • No 24%
  • No Opinion 4%

169 total votes.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate on Saturday, turning to the architect of a deeply conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan to remake Medicare and cut trillions in federal spending.

In the campaign to come, Republicans will present economic solutions "that are bold, specific and achievable," Romney said as he presented his political partner to cheering supporters. "We offer our commitment to create 12 million new jobs and bring better take home pay to middle class families."

Click here to learn more about Rep. Paul Ryan.

The two men basked in the cheers of supporters in the ticket's made-for-television debut. "I did not make a mistake with this guy," Romney exulted.

"I am deeply excited and honored to join you as your running mate," Ryan said in his first words at the podium." He said together, "we will restore the greatness of this country."

His selection just hours old, Ryan, was already tearing into President Barack Obama's "record of failure."

Ryan declared Saturday that the nation under Obama's leadership is struggling through the "worst economic recovery in 70 years."

"No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation," Ryan said in prepared remarks released by the Romney campaign. "And, in his first two years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn't make things better."

The seven-term congressman is blaming Obama for the nation's unemployment rate that has exceeded 8 percent for more than three years, the longest run since the Great Depression.

"Families are hurting," Ryan said.

He spoke in remarks prepared for delivery at the first public appearance of the new GOP ticket.

Ryan, the architect of a controversial Republican budget plan, is promising not to "duck the tough issues." And he says he has the courage to tell the truth.

Even before Wisconsin sent Paul Ryan to Congress, he was meticulously carving a path that seemed to point only upward.

As a young Capitol Hill staffer, he impressed Republican lawmakers with his hustle and intellectual curiosity. He blended quickly with an elite crop of conservative thinkers. By his 30s, he was a congressman on his way to becoming a GOP name brand with his push-the-edge budget proposals.

Ryan's climb reached new heights Saturday when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced him as his running mate.

"Mitt's Choice for VP is Paul Ryan," said a phone app Romney's team created to spread the word to supporters.

As the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan gives Romney a link to Capitol Hill leadership and underscores Romney's effort to make the election a referendum on the nation's economic course. Romney also could see his standing improve in Wisconsin, a state President Barack Obama won handily four years ago but that could be much tighter this November.

Even so, Ryan has been a double-edged sword for Romney. The congressman's endorsement of Romney came at a critical stage of the GOP primaries, giving him a boost in the Wisconsin race that effectively buried Romney's final threat. But it also meant Romney was embracing the Ryan-sponsored budget proposal that Democrats fiercely target as painful to the poor and elderly.

Still, the square-jawed congressman is viewed as a bridge between the buttoned-up GOP establishment and the riled-up tea party movement.

At 42, Ryan has spent almost half of his life in the Washington fold, the last 14 representing a southern Wisconsin district that runs from the shores of Lake Michigan through farm country south of Madison.

Ryan grew up in Janesville and still lives just down the block from where he spent his boyhood. His father, a lawyer, died of a heart attack when Ryan was a teenager. It's why Ryan is a fitness buff, leading fellow lawmakers through grueling, early-morning workouts and pushing himself through mountain climbs.

That same intensity propelled him on the political front, too.

He was first exposed to Congress as a summer intern to Sen. Robert Kasten. With an economics degree in hand, Ryan worked his way through committee staff assignments, a prominent think tank and top legislative advisory roles until opportunity arose with an open seat from his home turf. He leveraged Washington connections, local ties forged through the family construction business and the backing of anti-abortion groups en route to his surprisingly comfortable victory.

As a 28-year-old, Ryan entered Congress brimming with idealistic views about forcing government to become leaner and less intrusive, principles he thought even fellow Republicans were abandoning too readily.

"One of the first lessons I learned was, even if you come to Congress believing in limited government and fiscal prudence once you get here you are bombarded with pressure to violate your conscience and your commitment to help secure the people's natural right to equal opportunity," Ryan wrote in a 2010 book.

Critics question Ryan's own consistency. They note that he backed a costly prescription drug benefit during Republican George W. Bush's presidency that added strain to the Medicare budget, which Ryan touted at the time as "one of the most critical pieces of legislation" enacted since he joined Congress. He said in a June interview with The Associated Press that he took a "defensive" vote to ward off a more expensive Senate version. More recently, Ryan served on a bipartisan presidential debt commission but balked at its report because a tax increase was on the menu of options.

He is a disciple of and past aide to the late Rep. Jack Kemp, once a GOP vice presidential nominee himself who effusively promoted tax cuts as a central tenet for economic growth.

From the title page of his idyllic "Path to Prosperity" budget plan down to the most scrutinized fine print, Ryan is adept at framing proposals in the most pleasant terms.

Ryan's opponents charge that his call to open Medicare to more private competition is too risky even if implementation would be a ways off; he counters that the latest version was fashioned in consultation with prominent Democrats in hopes of heading off an all-out program collapse that would devastate the financial security of future retirees. Foes say his plans to scale back food stamps and housing assistance are mean-spirited; Ryan describes the moves, which would allow states to further customize their welfare programs while imposing tougher time limits and work requirements, as empowerment for the downtrodden who he argues are being lulled into lives of complacency and dependency.

It took time for Ryan's own party to get fully behind his ideas. A few years ago, when Ryan first proposed dramatic changes to entitlement programs like Medicare some in the GOP were skittish because Democrats pounced on the plans as undermining the health program accessed by millions of retirees.

Kasten said Ryan's refusal to back down paid off politically.

"If all the sudden you become the dartboard for everyone on the left and you are willing to stand there and take the heat and the darts, you develop a tremendous amount of respect even from those who are throwing the darts," Kasten said. "In the beginning it's a grudging respect. It grows into a true respect."

Ryan has let opportunities to advance come and go, most recently when he opted not to seek an open U.S. Senate seat. His young family factored into his considerations; he and wife, tax attorney Janna, have a daughter and two sons.

Comments

Trustbuster 1 year, 8 months ago

If Congressman Ryan is the VP choice it is a sign that the Republican party is getting serious about debt reduction. I supported the Ryan Plan which called for entitlement reform and comprehensive debt reduction. After reading Sen. Coburn's book "The Debt Bomb" I believe the greatest threat facing America is not Al-Queda but the national debt. The Ryan choice is a signal that the Republican party wants to court independent fiscal conservatives like myself. I look forward to the congressman sparing with Biden in the debates.

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Jimboob 1 year, 8 months ago

If the republicans are serious then put tax increase (Bush Tax Cuts) on the table along with the cuts seniors and the poor will face. Or maybe the rich GOP backers will walk away.

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Kay523 1 year, 8 months ago

Goodbye to Medicare for Seniors if Romney/Ryan is elected. At least Ryan is not a flip-flopper like Romney who was pro-choice, pro same-sex marriage, pro gun control. Romney is a pig in a poke the only certainty is that his election would be a big boost to the Mormon religion.

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Trustbuster 1 year, 8 months ago

Kay523 it sounds like that you might be intolerant of other religions.

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B4it 1 year, 8 months ago

Kay - what you fail to comprehend is that Obamacare is what will reduce your Medicare services. You just do not want to think about that because you have been conditioned to think otherwise. For every negative that is said about Romney, there is much more negativity and poor policy making that can be said about Obama and Biden and their lack of Freedom Loving Administration.

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Progressive 1 year, 8 months ago

Kay523 - what kind of irresponsible and shallow-minded comment is this about Romney being a flip flopper? Obama recently changed his position on gay marriages, and has repeatedly lied to the American people on various positions such as being Christian while acting like a Muslim, appointing czars (communist term) that were radicals, revolutionaries, and even avowed communists, has sealed his past records from public viewing, has Valarie Jarrett, an avowed socialist, as his senior advisor, has given away millions of our tax dollars to companies against wise advise not do so (e.g. Solyndra), etc. etc. etc. Get the point?

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ObjectiveEyes 1 year, 8 months ago

Kay, you do realize that Obamacare steals about $500 billion from Medicare, right?

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Jimboob 1 year, 8 months ago

Not really... Quit listening and start reading.

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ObjectiveEyes 1 year, 8 months ago

Not really is NOT answer to the question. It's a yes or no question and the answer is YES it cuts Medicare funding. Obama admitted it over the weekend.

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Citizen_A 1 year, 8 months ago

Your statement about the Mormon's getting a boost is ridiculous...since when did any President's religion get a "big boost" from getting elected. I would think you would be happy that he at least believes in and worships Jesus Christ.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Paul Ryan is nothing more than a pencil sharpener who distinguished himself by becoming an office boy and then a party hack. His knowledge of finances and government is less than zero. I can hardly wait to see this play out. The Democrats are dancing in the streets. As long as the parties select their least capable America will be in the ditch. Vote for Ron Paul. When he says less government and less spending we all know he means it and the man can put the case on the table without having to apologize for what he believes. Pssst. Read up on Ayn Rand you craw thumpin' evangelicals.

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LuLu 1 year, 8 months ago

"His knowledge of finances and government is less than zero."

You obviously know nothing about him!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Tell me if you know more than this: Paul Ryan "was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan earned a B.A. degree in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio. In the mid to late 1990s, he worked as an aide to United States Senator Bob Kasten, as legislative director for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, and as a speechwriter for former U.S. Representative and 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp of New York. In 1998, Ryan won election to the United States House of Representatives, succeeding the two-term incumbent, fellow Republican Mark Neumann. He is now in his seventh term." Other than a brief work experience in a family business he is just laundered through the Washington system. A real find. Vote for Ron Paul!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 8 months ago

Wow, you can use Wikipedia.. That doesn't constitute, "knowing anything about him or his policies."

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Delayed response due to quick departure for a weekend shift. Well, yes you are partially right some of it was from Wickipedia because it is accurate and it was an easy find. Some of it was from his history. HOWEVER, in as much as you found my source you still didn't answer the question and offer more about Paul Ryan. Your knuckles getting skinned?

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Trustbuster 1 year, 8 months ago

FryarTuk I voted for Paul during the primary. The primary season is over now and I am gearing up for the fall election to help defeat Obama. While I don't agree with everything Romney or Ryan stands for but I do agree we need to defeat the man in the White House. I am big fan of Sen. Rand Paul and he is backing the ticket. I believe Senators Paul, Rubio, and Congressman Ryan are the future of the Republican Party. They are committed to limited govt., less taxes and a lower national debt. Their 2010 campaigns were boosted by my Tea Party compatriots. Ryan presented a realistic budget plan after the Republicans captured the House. Where is Dirty Harry's (Sen. Reid) budget plan?

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Ryan literal begged Congress to pass George Bush's TARP plan and to start, fund and expand the mideastern wars. He doesn't want to stop spending, he just wants to spend tax money differently. I think you are right he is the heart of the new Republican Party and I don't want any part of it. Nor do I want the Obama Democratic Party either. Write in Ron Paul, he's a veteran, he has been in combat, he is the smartest guy running. If we continue to follow the party lines we'll be hung out to dry on them.

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VietVet1 1 year, 8 months ago

Fryar Tuk - and Obama history is??????

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Like those community organizers and missionaries to France do you? Well, they are going to continue America downward on the same path. Stop your stinking thinking. Vote Ron Paul the only veteran running, he has courage to bring real change.

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ObjectiveEyes 1 year, 8 months ago

A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Obama.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for the freedom of America! It is a vote for a veteran and a combat veteran. It is not a vote for a missionary to France or a community organizer.

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ustaknow 1 year, 8 months ago

I challenge anyone making 50k a year to show me where the tax dollars you pay into federal government comes back to you under barrack Obama. this is why middle class has to vote Obama out. Obama sends tax dollars to a select few and it is not the people earning 50k a year. this income group gets very little but pays in most. Romney said he want to help middle class- lets give him the chance

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Trustbuster 1 year, 8 months ago

Lets abolish income taxes. It is corrupting our politicians in Washington. I believe it was one of the biggest mistakes in history to create this unfair tax system.

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ustaknow 1 year, 8 months ago

a bipartisan food stamp solution that will eliminate fraud and it came from a yahoo poster named homer- so i propose we name it" homers law "

Homers Law : " , The purpose of food stamps is to assure that families and children don't starve correct. There is so much abuse in the system , here is my solution. scrap the current system and award vouchers to local food banks. These food banks can not only stretch the dollar a lot further but buy in bulk. The poor can then go to these banks for their weekly supplies. If you want to benefit from these banks you must volunteer at least 20 hours a week to stock shelves and keep it running. Don't give me that #$%$ its embarrassing and demeaning, it should be, it will motivate you to get off the dole "

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ustaknow 1 year, 8 months ago

Just a reminder- it was Obama that said " I might not send out your Social Security check "

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ustaknow 1 year, 8 months ago

I dont know of anything that helped middle class more than Bush tax Cuts

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

That's crazy. If Bush had wanted to cut the wealthiest tax cuts he should have cut spending at least as much and stopped the crazy wars. He should have cut foreign subsidies. Vote Ron Paul the only person of solid character running.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 8 months ago

Anyone who thinks Paul can win and actually votes for him loses all credibility in my book. You might as well not waste your gas.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Who is interested in your book?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 8 months ago

Considering my comment has (at the time of my reply) more "thumbs-up" than your comment...

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

But don't you know that "Thumbs up" is only part of the quote, it really goes like this, "Your thumbs up your ___!"

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 8 months ago

Um...ok? I guess I see why someone like yourself would see the value in voting for Ron Paul.

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hotdog 1 year, 8 months ago

I dont know of anything that put us more in debt that GW Bush

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

When Gov. Mittens ran against Ted Kennedy for US Sen from MA, he ran to the left of the hero of Chappaquiddick. He disavowed Ronald Reagan, voted for Jimmy Carter, embraced gay rights, promoted unions, implemented Obamacare on steroids, raised taxes as gov., stymied job creation, etc. etc. etc. In July when he went abroad on his diplomatic tour de force, other than insult Great Britan and the Jewish culture, he visited 3 nations with strong nationalized health systems and praised their effects. He comes home and after he is ridiculously attacked for some death which he didn't cause, trots out a chief spokesperson to declare that if the deceased had lived in MA she would have been saved by Mitten's intensified version of Obamacare. Listen, you folks voting for the Guilded Governor can be seduced however you want but you at least ought to play hard to get. You've swallowed his pseudorightwing bait hook, line and sinker. Write in Ron Paul, a rational thoroughbred, stop settling for political hybrids.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 8 months ago

Ron Paul is an irrational in-bred. Flush him down the Loser Toilet.

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VSU 1 year, 8 months ago

Obuma said on his commercials he wants to lower the debt. How can you lower it if you keep spending money and raising it up?

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

The debt was created by the Wars of the Bush administration, the giveaways to the rich and powerful, the TARP of Bush administration, the huge useless giveaways in foreign subsidies, the squandering by the Democrats. It is not just Obama. It is both political parties. Until we realize that and get someone who really wants to change the system and is not about self service. Vote for Ron Paul the only veteran, the only candidate to serve in war not in France as a missionary or in Chicago as a community organizer.

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ustaknow 1 year, 8 months ago

Obama is spending 25% of GDP ( is spending is an action verb and not past tense) the debt under Obama eclipsed all of Bushes debt id Obama's first 30 months.

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VSU 1 year, 8 months ago

People are not going to vote Ron Paul as president. If they wanted Paul, they would have voted for him last time and in this election. It doesn't matter if Captain Kangaroo created this debt, bottom line is Obuma has done nothing to reduce it, only to raise it. I do agree with you that both parties are causing todays problems, but instead of working together to cure the ails of this country, they want to bicker..point the finger at each other and blame the other for this and that.

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hotdog 1 year, 8 months ago

great post VSU but RMoney's plan will do nothing to improve it

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Progressive 1 year, 8 months ago

For the next couple of months, watch to see if the Obama campaign says anything that comes close to having a plan for reducing the massive deficit, for increasing jobs, and for improving our border security. Most of what you ever hear from Obama and his admin are personal attacks on the other guys. That is because they have no positive plans to tell the nation about. The behind closed doors negotiated and unread Obamacare = a TAX on the middle class when he said it was not a TAX and that he would not raise taxes on the middle class. Now that he has been in office for almost 4 YEARS, what has Obama done to make your life better?

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RedEric 1 year, 8 months ago

The fact is that if you vote for Ron Paul you might as well stay home, sit in your yard, drink beer and shoot your shotgun in the air. We have to take our country back gradually and carefully. Romney/Ryan is an excellent first step. All of the Tea parties understand it is going to take awhile. The dangerous part is that this is the closest the Progressives have come to taking over. I am afraid they are not going to give up easily.

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TheMember 1 year, 8 months ago

You say Ryan Paul doesn't know his numbers? I can't wait for the VP debate, he is going to make Biden look like the fool he is. Also, it is pretty damn funny to hear the Obama campaign say Paul has never had a real job, his job as a waiter is one more than Obama ever had and we won't even go into the other jobs Paul has had, it will make Obama look like the fool he is too.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Ryan Paul is a republican party hack whose experience is nothing more than a glorified office boy. Biden, Obama and Paul are cut out of the same bolt of cloth. As for Romney he is two faced hypocrite who is a consummate liar. At least the other three declare who they are. likem or not. The guilded Mittens is a chameleon who scorned Ronald Reagan, voted for Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, ran for MA US Senator to the left of the Hero of Chappaquiddick, missionized France as an exemption for military service, campaigned for abortion and gay rights, tied a dog to the top of his car while driving 6 hours to a vacation spot. This is the guy you get excited for? Then he signs on a pencil sharpener who bases his political philosophy on a Russian atheist's fictional writings. You Democrats and Republicans are hard up. You supply a lot fantacy for these guys, you know that don't you?

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 8 months ago

If there are enough DooFusses like FryarTuk..........I'm afraid you are right.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Albert Einstein once said " We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." That's the problem with Romney and Obama and you knuckledraggers that can't see above the rut you're intellectually and politically stuck in. You keep following the same party hacks and chanting the same mantras which the party bosses expect because they have you chained to their treadmills. Like the burrow tied to the grinding wheel you're making syrup for the fat cats but you'll never find fulfillment. It doesn't matter whether it's Obama or Romney or Ryand or Biden. Einstein also gave a good definition for our political process, he termed it insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Get off the treadmill and vote for Ron Paul!

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 8 months ago

Vote for my Big Toe. You'll get the same result as for Ron Paul.

Ron Paul could not even string together two coherent sentences in the debates. He's a dweeby old dope who can't even remember how to finish a sentence without starting another one or forgetting what subject he was talking about in the first place. Ron Paul has such a spooky hold on his drooling, mumbling, bug-eyed follwers that I sometimes think he just might be the Anti-Christ instead of Obama. But you go ahead and piss away your precious vote and feel real good about yourself while the Country gets flushed down the toilet. YOU will be right there with us in the Big Septic Tank.

No need to reply.......we all know what you will say.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

If you've washed your foot in the last week, your Big Toe would be a better choice than the community organizer and the missionary to France.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 8 months ago

Da Coach was right......Obama in 2012!!

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VSU 1 year, 8 months ago

Agreeing with yourself coach?

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FryarTuk 1 year, 8 months ago

Hey, Sherwood Alum, have you found out any more about your party hack Paul Ryand?

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