Meet the Republican Candidate in a Blue Seat Who Endorses Ryan's Plan

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 14 2012 11:44 AM

Meet the Republican Candidate in a Blue Seat Who Endorses Ryan's Plan

ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- It was good fortune, I think, to plan a reporting trip in New England at the same time Paul Ryan became the GOP's veep nominee. Yesterday I talked to a Republican in Rhode Island who has a decent chance of taking a Democratic seat, and rejects the Ryan budget's Medicare reforms. Earlier in the week I talked to Sean Bielat, who's running against Joe Kennedy III for the seat being vacated against Barney Frank. He said he would support Ryan's plan.

"Choosing Ryan clearly puts the focus on economic and fiscal issues," said Bielat. "If he had picked somebody else, it wouldn't have put as clear a focus and as clear a contrast with Obama on those issues. Paul Ryan -- many disagree with his plan. I always say to them: He has one. What's yours? And there's seldom an answer."

Advertisement

Bielat viewed the choice as a potentially teachable moment. "Even if you lose an election," he said, "there's some value that comes out of campaigning, if you do things right. Even if, God forbid, Romney and Ryan were to lose, at least for a couple months, there was a spotlight on this pivotal issue of entitlement reform and fiscal discipline. And something will come as a result of that. Ryan, if he comes back to Congress, will have a little more influence, will push the ball a little bit further."

Bielat is bolder than some blue-state Republicans. Yesterday, the Boston Globe's Michael Levenson caught up with Sen Scott Brown at a charity basketball game* and noticed that Brown "was quick to point out that he voted twice to block consideration of Ryan’s budget in the Senate."

*I was also at the game -- more to come! -- but didn't talk to the candidate. Brown's communications staff had the candidate concentrate on local press and on two national outlets writing much longer pieces on the campaign. It happens.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Don’t Panic! The U.S. Already Stops Ebola and Similar Diseases From Spreading. Here’s How.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 6:59 PM The Democrats’ War at Home Can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.