What Evangelicals, Social Conservatives Are Saying About Paul Ryan

Several leading evangelicals including Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission have described Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate as a "bold move."

Land emphasized that Romney's choice will allow those who doubted his conservative convictions to reconsider those thoughts.

"The myth of cautiousness is dead," explained Land, who also serves as executive editor at The Christian Post. "This is a bold pick. It should put aside any doubts conservatives have about Mitt Romney and his commitment to pro-life values. Ryan will help solidify that commitment and it helps when the smartest guy in the room is on your side."

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Ryan, who is best known for his work as chairman of the House Budget Committee, is also known as a committed family man. A lifelong Catholic, Ryan has a solid pro-life voting record.

Here is a sampling of what other Christian leaders are saying about the former Midwestern Catholic altar boy who now finds himself front and center in the national political spotlight.

As former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer pointed out, some groups who advocate for abortion-on-demand are complaining that Ryan has never once supported a pro-abortion amendment or bill.

"The selection of Paul Ryan should be reassuring to conservatives who had doubts about Gov. Romney," wrote Bauer. "Ryan is unambiguously pro-life. In fact, the radical pro-abortion group NARAL is whining that Ryan has never cast a "pro-choice vote."

Dr. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life Action, meanwhile, echoed Land's sentiment by saying that Ryan was "a bold choice of an unambiguous defender of the need for a pro-life vision for America."

Yoest emphasized that the Ryan pick illustrates the intersection between economic issues and the life issue: "Paul Ryan's record demonstrates that the Life issue is an economic issue. This election is a referendum on President Obama's championing of a health care plan that is the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. And AUL Action welcomes Congressman Paul Ryan's strong stance against buttressing the abortion industry with Americans' hard-earned tax dollars."

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell criticized the Wisconsin congressman, saying he is "not a pick for women."

"This is not a pick for suburban moms," said Mitchell in a broadcast over the weekend. "This is not a pick for women. This is a pick for the [Republican] base."

However, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List defended Romney's choice by saying that Ryan would indeed look after and protect the interest of women.

"Paul Ryan's policies and positions are pro-life and pro-woman," said Dannenfelser in a written statement. "He respects women so much, he even thinks unborn women should be protected and given the opportunity to live. For any media personality to suggest otherwise is absurd."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council pointed out that Ryan has stood up to the flawed policies of the Obama administration such as the recent policy mandating employers provide free contraceptives and abortifacients to female workers.

"As a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, he has been a defender of religious expression in the public square," noted Perkins. "Paul Ryan has spoken out strongly against President Obama's abortion drug and contraception mandates as an affront to religious liberty. He has articulately described how the President's government takeover of health care has pushed aside our First Amendment right of religious freedom."

In an editorial in Monday's USA Today, Faith and Freedom co-founder Ralph Reed expanded on the Ryan pick.

"I first got to know Paul Ryan when he worked for Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett at Empower America, a conservative think tank, in the early 1990s. When he was elected to Congress in 1998, he quickly impressed his colleagues with his rare combination of a rapier intellect, wonkish public policy knowledge and moral courage," wrote Reed.

"Yet Ryan has never been enamored with either Washington or the national stage. A devoted husband and father, he chose to keep his family in his hometown of Janesville, Wis. A man of deep Christian faith, he remains rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition of his upbringing, even citing the social teaching of the church to defend his budget plan."

But what may attract swing voters to a Romney-Ryan ticket is the running mate's commitment to making moms feel better about their families' monthly budgeting process that has been getting tighter and tighter over the last few years.
"Others were simply content to sit on the sidelines and make political points; Congressman Ryan was determined to be a grown up and work for a real solution," Concerned Women for America's Penny Nance told The Christian Post. "The nation's mothers demand that our leaders in Washington stop spending money that belongs to our children and grandchildren and to live within the nation's means much like we all do at the kitchen table every month."

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