(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
After Mitt Romney announced Saturday that Rep. Paul Ryan is his running mate, the President Barack Obama campaign and the GOP began to trade attacks while it brought in a renewed excitement in the Republican Party.
Prompt in blasting Romney's choice, the Obama campaign released statements, a new video and a Web page calling Romney-Ryan as "The Go Back team."
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement that Wisconsin Rep. Ryan is "a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy."
Messina called Ryan "the architect of the radical Republican House budget," and criticized him for proposing "an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid." Ryan's plan, he added, also would end Medicare "as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors."
In an email to supporters, Messina went on to say that the election was about values, "and today Romney doubled down on his commitment to take our country back to the failed policies of the past." He added, "Our job is to make sure Americans know the truth about what Romney's choice says about him as a candidate and leader."
Nevertheless, excitement within the Republican Party was visible. Romney's campaign raised $1.2 million within the first four hours of the announcement that Ryan will be the GOP candidate for vice president, campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on Twitter.
"The Romney-Ryan ticket is going to win in November because it offers the American people visionary leadership to recapture the free enterprise spirit that has empowered countless Americans to build businesses from scratch and live the American dream," said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. "I'm excited about the visionary change a Romney-Ryan team will bring to Washington, and I look forward to campaigning with them this fall."
Rubio was one of the potential running mates Romney had shortlisted, apart from Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and 42-year-old Ryan.
Ryan was also fast to attack Obama. "No one disputes President Obama inherited a difficult situation," Ryan stated Saturday, standing at Romney's side for the first time as the Republican presidential ticket on the USS Wisconsin, a retired battleship. "And, in his first two years, with his party in complete control of Washington, he passed nearly every item on his agenda. But that didn't make things better."
Ryan said higher unemployment, declining incomes and crushing debt is "not a new normal;" it's a result of "misguided policies."
"Our rights come from nature and from God, not government," added Ryan, whose budget plan was killed by the Democrat-controlled Senate. "That's who we are. We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes."
Ryan was supported by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Speaking to CNN, Cantor said Ryan is a "real leader for the future." "He has been a thorough, diligent worker. No one knows the budget better than Paul."
Even media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who is not seen as Romney's supporter, praised him. "Thank God! Now we might have a real election on the great issues of the day. Paul Ryan almost perfect choice," he tweeted.