Decision 2012: Walker, Priebus Discuss Ryan On Meet The Press

Posted Sunday, August 12, 2012 --- 11:20 a.m.

From NBC15's sister station

(WEAU) - Two big Republican names from Wisconsin were headline guests on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Governor Scott Walker were on the Sunday political talk show to discuss Mitt Romney's choice for Vice President - Congressman Paul Ryan, who represents Wisconsin's 1st District.

Priebus appeared happy with the choice.

"I think that what it shows the American people is that Mitt Romney has the leadership and courage to present to the American people a real contrast and a real debate in this country," said Priebus.

Ryan is also the House Budget Chairman and the architect of the Republican budget plan which dramatically cuts many programs and reshapes entitlement programs like Medicare.

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed 53% of Americans are OK with the Medicare the way it is, or only wish to see minor modifications.

Only 44% want to see a complete overhaul, something the Ryan plan would do.

Governor Walker put it this way, "The truth is seniors and people near retirement aren't going to be touched under his (Ryan's) plan. And the bigger truth is in the end, it's going to be governor and then President Romney's plan that will ultimately prevail."

"He's going to protect Medicare for seniors. He's going to protect Medicare and other programs for future generations," Walker added.

Former GOP presidential candidate and House Speaker Newt Gingrich once called Ryan's plan to transform Medicare "right wing social engineering." Gingrich has since backed away from the comments he made.

Senior Obama Advisor David Axelrod also appeared on MTP.

"Let's be clear. The President has already taken steps that added eight years to the life of Medicare. His budget would add several more," Axelrod said.

Axelrod admitted more must be done, but added, "are you going to do it in a way that preserves the program and the basic integrity of the program and the access to care that seniors need? Or are you going to turn it into a voucher program with ever decreasing value relative to health care costs?"

"I think it's going to be troubling for the main stream American electorate. You've got in Congressman Ryan, the architect of a budget that would shower trillions of dollars in new tax cuts skewed to the wealthy. It would be $250,000 for the average millionaire, while he cuts back on college aid to kids, and research and innovation and all the things we need to grow the economy," Axelrod said.

As for the GOP ticket itself, Priebus and Walker say the addition of Ryan is a game changer.

"I think these two gentleman together are showing this country their going to share a lot of ideas on how to get this country back on track, and that Mitt Romney respects Paul's ideas," Priebus said.

"Paul Ryan offers something I think distinctively unique. On one hand he has a unique way to inspire and pump up the base. I think you'll see that going into the convention. But at the same time and we've seen it for years in Wisconsin, he has tremendous appeal to swing voters," Walker said.

"In the end, if you put your faith in the voters. If you give them the truth. If you believe in the tax payers, in this case you believe in the American people than in the government, ultimately those people will stand up and affirm you," Walker said,

That may be easier said than done here in Wisconsin.

The state has 10 electoral votes. And while some pundits say the addition of Ryan to the ticket could help the GOP win in Wisconsin, a Republican presidential candidate has not won here since 1984.

"I think for a Republican to win, you not only have to secure your base, you have to reach out to independent swing voters. In our state what we saw in my election two months ago, what they want more than anything is people to tell them the truth who are courageous and are willing to take on tough decisions. And Mitt Romney are Paul Ryan are exactly the kind of comeback team we need to make that happen," Walker said.

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