Ryan's speech doesn't surprise area Republicans
TAMPA, Fla. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan gave viewers a lot to think about and provided fodder for pundits to argue with his speech Wednesday at the Republican Party National Convention.
Area Republicans attending the event can be excused if they were not surprised or startled by what he said.
"Most of us in the Wisconsin delegation were not surprised because that's been his policy positions for the past 14 years," said Jan Deters of Janesville, an alternate delegate. "What was exciting was to be there and hear him deliver those messages to a national audience."
Janesville's Bryan Steil, another alternate delegate who worked on economic issues for two years in Ryan's congressional office, agreed that Ryan has not strayed from his basic policy positions during his 14 years in Congress.
"It's the same message to a different audience," Steil said. "As for his speech, I think he knocked one out of the park.
"He discussed the risks of runaway spending," Steil said. "He provided the convention with a serious discussion about what needs to be done to fix this economic mess we are in."
Kim Travis of Williams Bay said she was proud to be from Wisconsin and proud to be able, as a delegate, to cast a vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket.
"His speech showed the nation that he's ready to lead and ready to lead us out of the economic problems we are in," Travis said. "It was a great moment for me."
The area representatives all agreed that Ryan's comments on the Janesville General Motors plant were factual and on point.
Ryan has been attacked for pointing a finger at Obama for the plant's shutdown. Critics say Obama did not take office until January 2009, long after the decision had been made to idle the plant. During his 2008 campaign, however, Obama commented that his policies, especially on green technology, could ensure that the plant would stay open another 100 years.
"Paul Ryan accurately pointed out the broken promises of President Obama," Travis said. "The message is that the Romney/Ryan administration will take action, not break promises."
Deters agreed that the GM comments pointed out Obama's inconsistency.
"Paul Ryan, in his speech, made the point that what Obama said and what he did are two different things," Deters said.
Steil said Ryan comments on GM were offered in a broader sense.
"I agree with Paul Ryan that Janesville and cities like Janesville across the country will be better off with a Romney/Ryan administration," Steil said.
UW-Whitewater professor emeritus John Kozlowicz said he expected Ryan would give a good speech and he did.
"Expectations were high, especially knowing he was a speechwriter for Jack Kemp," Kozlowicz said. "He certainly met those expectations."
Kozlowicz questioned the strategy of bringing Obama into the Janesville GM plant issue.
"First of all, I think the important date in all this is June of 2008 when GM announced the shutdown," he said. "I think it's a stretch to try to tie Obama to that decision."