The Race To Define Paul Ryan Has Begun

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Aug. 13 2012 4:17 PM

The Race To Define Paul Ryan Has Begun

Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod is already comparing Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick Congressman Paul Ryan to Sarah Palin for being a “certifiable right-wing ideologue.”

But the big difference between Palin and Ryan as a V.P. pick is that Rep. Ryan is already a known quantity to Democrats, and criticisms of the Wisconsin Republican are already flying. Among them: Paul’s statement that he got into public service because of libertarian Ayn Rand, his support for raising taxes on the middle class while cutting them for the rich, and his famous plan to effectively turn Medicare into a voucher system that doesn’t grow with the inflation of health care costs.

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Is Ryan the Tea Party boogeyman Democrats say he is? Anyone who wants to give subsidies to big oil and eliminate Pell Grants for over 1 million students is no friend of big government. But new polling suggests Ryan is an unknown for most Americans, which means the race to define him, good or bad, is on.

Video by Paca Thomas.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

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