Will VP Pick Paul Ryan Hurt Romney's Chances in Florida?
Romney's vice president choice wants to privatize government programs that benefit many of the older Americans who retire to Florida.
Florida's high proportion of retirees may make a Romney-Ryan ticket a tough sell in the Sunshine State, the Miami Herald reports.
"Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is the architect of the Ryan budget plan that makes big changes to Medicare and Medicaid and could allow for some privatization of Social Security.
"And that’s widely seen by Democrats and most analysts as a politically risky stance in Florida, a must-win state for Republicans, where retirees cast a suspicious eye on changes to the three major government-entitlement programs that pump about $96 billion yearly into the hands of the elderly, the infirm and the hospitals, doctors and other providers who give them direct care."
"Paul Ryan wants to privatize Social Security. Looking forward to welcoming Mitt and his pick to Florida,” U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat, tweeted. “There’s nothing brave about cutting the programs that America’s seniors rely on for their health and financial security.”
Ryan authored the Ryan Budget Plan, which proposes turning Medicare into a voucher system that will help seniors pay for private health insurance, and Medicaid into a block grant system to be delivered state-by-state.
His Social Security plan partially privatizes the system, allowing plan members younger than 55 to put their savings in investment accounts.
The Marco Rubio Factor
Another factor that needs to be calculated in the Romney-Ryan Algorithm is U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, considered a long-shot candidate for Vice President.
Rubio, who is Cuban and from Miami, would have delivered the Hispanic voters in Florida. No Rubio on the ticket may bring disappointment and a cold shoulder from a vital voting bloc. Rubio, the first-term U.S. Senator, is a popular figure in Florida. According to the "Naked Politics" blog, polls have shown that making Marco Rubio the choice for VP would have put more in play for Romney in Florida, a vital battleground state for the GOP.
On Saturday, Rubio described Romney's decision to pick Ryan as "truly inspired."
Interestingly, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is not among the slate of GOP stars already scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, from Aug. 27-30.
Keynote speakers include:
- U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin
- Former Secrteary of State Condoleezza Rice
- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
- Florida Gov. Rick Scott
- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
- New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
What do you think of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as the choice for Vice President? Let us know in our Tampa Bay Talks Back post.