Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Two of Iowa's top Republicans Monday praised Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate and said the 2012 GOP ticket is more impressive than the one that went down in defeat to Barack Obama four years ago.
"The Romney-Ryan ticket is stronger than the McCain-Palin ticket," said Iowa Rep. Steve King, one of the state's leading conservative voices and a longtime critic of Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican standard-bearer.
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"It's stronger because John McCain didn't speak to the heart of Americans," King said. "John McCain didn't deliver the kind of economic proposals that we are going to hear out of Romney and Ryan, that we have heard already. So it makes a big difference, I think. There is a real plan out there and there is real leadership out there. That's going to inspire people."
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad called Ryan "unflappable" and said the Wisconsin congressman is "absolutely" a better vice presidential pick than Sarah Palin was in 2008, though he quickly hedged his answer.
"I don't want to compare with anybody," he said, "I just want to say that I think he's a great choice, and as the American people get to see him they are going to be more and more impressed that he is a positive guy with new ideas and is the kind of leadership we need for America's future."