Vermont Republicans, Democrats Say Ryan Will Change Debate

08/13/12 5:50PM By Bob Kinzel
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AP/Ray Roy
Paul Ryan campaigns in Iowa on Monday.

Top Republican and Democratic officials in Vermont both say that they think the selection of Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as the GOP vice presidential nominee will make the economy and debt reduction a key issue in the presidential campaign.

State Auditor Tom Salmon is a delegate to the GOP convention later this month in Tampa. He says the selection of Congressman Ryan is a bold and risky move by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney because it puts the tough choices that are needed to strengthen the national economy at the center of the campaign:

"What this election is going to be about is whether people can look at the hard facts and see that there is such a huge gap in revenue compared to the expenses that we have committed to in government that we have to get serious about the numbers," said Salmon. " And I think Paul Ryan is very serious and quite frankly unemotional about the fiscal realities which is what we need."

GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock is also a national delegate. He's confident that the Romney-Ryan team will craft good solutions to the country's fiscal problems and Brock says voters are ready for a dose of fiscal reality.

"I think people always want to be inspired and to hear good things and to hear the future being painted brightly but I think underlying it all people also want to be told the truth," said Brock. " It's time for politicians to tell the truth."

Congressman Peter Welch has known Ryan for the past 6 years.  Welch says they disagree on most issues but he thinks Ryan's selection means that the 2012 presidential campaign will be a good opportunity to discuss the proper role of the federal government in the future.

"I actually think it's good for America. I mean what you now are going to have is a serious debate about the serious challenge America faces on its debt and on its economy.

And Welch hopes the campaigns won't fall back on using negative ads and fear mongering.

"I think we've got a responsibility to be better and I think there's going to be an expectation on the part of the American people that we be better," said Welch. " If it's just sloganeering in this we will have lost an opportunity to engage the American people who want to be engaged in serious political discussion. They really don't like just the trash talk, the sloganeering the talking points and there's some potential for real debate now with these two tickets."

Despite their differences on many policy issues, Welch says he and Ryan did join together pass legislation that would give the President line item veto over the federal budget.  The measure passed the House but the Senate has yet to consider the bill.

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