McCain approves of Ryan V.P. pick
August 12th, 2012
10:56 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain approves of Ryan V.P. pick

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, had high praise on Sunday for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who was introduced Saturday as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate.

"Excellent choice. A new generation of leadership in our party and in our nation," McCain said on Fox News. "A man who understands the most compelling challenges this nation faces obviously are jobs and the economy."

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"I am convinced that he will bring the kinds of ideas and thoughts that he's been pursuing in the House and a very important position that he's held," McCain continued, echoing praise he offered in a Saturday paper statement - that "Ryan has proven that he is fully prepared to address our nation's economic challenges."

Ryan, who for seven terms has represented a Wisconsin district in the U.S. House, rose to head the influential Budget Committee in 2011 and is known for his ideas both innovative and controversial to rein in spending, especially on Medicare.

McCain said Ryan's Capitol Hill experience is an asset to Romney, who has made a selling point of his status as a Washington outsider.

"I think it's a good matchup because of Paul Ryan's ability to carry a Romney agenda through the Congress of the United States," McCain said.

With the economy and budget issues in the forefront this year, "There's nobody that knows these issues better than Paul Ryan," he added.

And his comparative lack of private sector experience - a contrast to Romney - contrasts sharply with President Barack Obama, McCain said.

"Someone would have to tell me what experience President Obama has in the private sector, which he has amply shown he is abysmally ignorant of, but Paul Ryan brings the balance of understanding of how the Congress works, understanding how the budget process works," he said in the interview.

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who followed McCain on Fox News, characterized Ryan and his budget - including the Medicare proposal - as "extreme" and said Romney has "fully embraced" Ryan's proposal.

Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Romney's campaign, characterized Romney's relationship with the Ryan budget plan differently when speaking to reporters.

Asked how the plan fits into Romney's own campaign, Madden answered, "Governor Romney is at the top of the ticket, and Governor Romney's vision for the country is something that Congressman Ryan supports."

Romney talking points obtained by CNN after the Ryan introduction on Saturday said Romney "applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance."

McCain, who is known in part for his military experience and foreign policy chops, said that Romney's foreign policy experience is "the least probably since Ronald Reagan," but that he "understands our nation's challenges."

Asked in the interview if the selection of Ryan presented a "danger that the running mate may overshadow the actual candidate on some of the most important issues of the day," McCain - who selected Sarah Palin to join his ticket in 2008 - chuckled through his answer.

"I had that problem," he laughed, then turned more serious and continued, "No, I don't think that's the case."

"There obviously is very good chemistry between the two of them and Americans recognize that running mates are very important, but it's the top of the ticket obviously that makes what the voters decide on as they enter the ballot booth," he said.

- CNN's Peter Hamby and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • Paul Ryan
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. aaron

    Now if he can just get the babyboomers infused about working until age 70 in order to cut taxes on the rich and corporations.

    August 12, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    What a boring Sunday , single media didn’t ask tough question

    Thank God I am joining with Obama and Wolf Blitzer watching Olympic basket ball

    August 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |

    Who Cares! Like HE made a good choice in 2008!

    August 12, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. gurgy

    It is a disastrous pick, this senile does not know. watch your SS and Medicare, these iditos will ban. Obama12. period.

    August 12, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. caracter

    Treason = no supporting your country!!
    Did Romney paid taxes while America was at war?

    August 12, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. King

    the 1 percenters along with the media outlets, coupled with the repubs, are promoting the hell out of romney Ryan team without end. from fox news, payed off CNN, payed off dems, and. their leir fox business news and CNBC are even heard from yet. seems like Obama and the regular people have no chance, the only ally the dems have, is MSNBC. yet I didn't even mention the 90 percent of news outlets are right wingers. they will say all manner of goodness, about the romney team and paint Obama as a Marxist. the only thing Obama has on his side, is for the people to remember, that it was the repubs that had the stock market in a 17 trillion dollar hole, 800 thousand joblost per month, 9 percent economy retraction, 2 unfounded wars, 1.5 trillion dollars yearly deficit, the repubs
    panicking with the financial crisis, nd on and on. Obama was the one who fixed this mess and have the country growing again.

    August 12, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Yonni

    Now we have an expert approval for Mitten vice-president candidate, we must be grateful for the perpetual TV icon McCain

    August 12, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. labman57

    Thus speaketh the man who chose the Whining Wannabe from Wasilla, and he STILL insists that he made the right choice.

    August 12, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. livingston

    He "approved" of Palin, too. That makes his opinion invalid.

    August 12, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. reginaldb6

    how many taxes reports did Romney see of Ryan's. ROMNEY RELEASE YOUR TAXES!

    August 12, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    @ King
    I agree with you
    Really I don’t know what happened to CNN
    CNN had Good reporters now they are working for CBS
    Rick Sanchez, Fareed Zakaria punished by CNN for silly mistakes
    John King and Erin Burnett still in CNN even after their shows hit the bottom ratings

    August 12, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Bob

    Romney-HOOD/Ryan-HOOD? No thanks!

    August 12, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. kate

    Republican turned Democrat....Obama works for the people. He is a leader. It is the Congress that doesn't know how to lead or work to get things done. If Obama is for it...the Republicans are against it. Period. Obama is not to blame for the debt we are in. Have you all forgotten about the wars that GW started and didn't pay for?: Have you forgotten that is was GW that got tax cuts for the rich? The rich will never understand how the middle class or poor are struggling. The middle class is what made America great not the upperclass. Ryan is one of the main architects of the Bush policies for giving the rich tax breaks. Watch out America....more GW coming if it is Romney/Ryan.

    August 12, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. mcskadittle

    But he also approved of Sarah :p

    August 12, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. Rob

    What would McCain know about picking a good VP candidate?? LMAO.

    August 12, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. noneofyourbusiness

    Paul Ryan, in introducing Mittt Romney, plagarized "The Wisdom of History" by J. Rufus Fears, Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma. Actually, he got part of the 3 characteristics of leaders wrong. Ryan said that a leader has to show leadership. Fears says leaders need to build consensus. (Doe anyone believe that can be done in today's political climate?) Ryan needs to re-read the book, cite his source, and get it correct.

    August 12, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    Sen. Mc Cain What is R and R foreign policy Bomb and Bomb

    August 12, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Peace

    "Paul Ryan brings the balance of understanding of how the Congress works, understanding how the budget process works," McCain said in the interview.

    Gee, the congress which has approval rating of 12%! Ryan's budget which was struck down! McCain has to stop applying that heavy lipstick on the poor animal.

    August 12, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. RS, CA

    A new day is dawning for our country - to restore The Shining City on the Hill - with goodwill and prosperity for all.
    Thank you Romney/Ryan.

    God bless America, land that I love.

    August 12, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Pogo

    maccain is just delighted cuz ryan is a big goverment spending type. ya really think rotten romnie and reyna are going to by budget cutters, maybe for guys like sheldon and trump but my working class tax bill is sure to go up under those two pair of dueces.

    August 12, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. W.G.

    I hope the that Ryan works out as well for Romney as Palin did for McCain . We need less republicans in Washington

    August 12, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. george of the jungle

    this from the guy that pick4d palin. Forward 2012

    August 12, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. mfstout

    This sounds like a headline from The Onion. The guy who arguably made the worst VP choice in history (after George W picked Satan-twice) now approves of someone else's pick for VP? Now this is real comedy.

    August 12, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. vic , nashville ,tn

    USA is shining now there is nothing to Restore

    August 12, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. george of the jungle

    new day dawning are you some kind of nut? This is a great country period. Between both of these guys they have no military or foreign policy experience. Ryan in government so long I don;t think he has ever had anything but government health insurance. Romney still won't show us his tax returns wonder how many years paul had to show him? Was romneys horse listed as a medical deduction?? How about some transparancy here. ryan will gut health insurance and medicare. Read the ryan budget. Middle class and elderly will pay the price. The only happy people are the tea baggers and the 1%ers. Forward for real change with a president Obama who really does care.

    August 12, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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