Paul Ryan: ‘Running Mate Doesn’t Make a Huge Difference’

Photograph by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Representative Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin and chairman of the House Budget Committee, at the Capitol.

Every four years, the announcement of a vice-presidential nominee yields significant speculation about how the candidate might boost the political fortunes of the party’s White House candidate.

The talk of a No. 2 delivering this state or that state for the ticket almost always is off the mark.

Rep. Paul Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee from Wisconsin, agrees.

“Everybody kept telling me, ‘The running mate doesn’t make a huge difference. It helps define issues, but it doesn’t bring states, it doesn’t do a lot,'” Ryan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel yesterday.

“Most of these so-called experts told me, ‘Don’t have high expectations for what you can do electorally.’ And I think that proved to be true,” Ryan said.

Ryan surely helped the Republicans slice President Barack Obama’s winning margin to seven points from 14 points in 2008 in Ryan’s home state. Yet Wisconsin didn’t turn out to be as competitive as it may have seemed last summer or fall, after Mitt Romney picked Ryan and Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in a recall election also galvanized Republicans. Wisconsin voted Democratic for the seventh straight presidential election.


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