By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate Saturday morning and Northeast Mississippi’s Republican congressman and senators said they are excited at the possibility of Ryan as vice president.
The 42-year-old House Budget Committee chairman has worked on fiscal plans in the United States House of Representatives with both Sen. Roger Wicker and Rep. Alan Nunnelee.
“I’ve developed a close relationship with Paul over the last 20 months working in the House, and from a personal standpoint I think it’s a great choice,” Nunnelee said. “More important than that, I think it’s his ability to lead America.”
Nunnelee said they worked closely together on a spending plan in the House.
“He showed great leadership in that area,” Nunnelee said.
Wicker worked with Ryan on the budget committee during his time in the House of Representatives before moving to the Senate. He said this appointment means the campaign will take a fiscal focus.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” Wicker said. “I think this speaks so well of Mitt Romney because it shows that he wants to run a campaign on the most significant crisis that faces our country and that is the debt, the spiraling cost of health care and all the things Paul Ryan has been a leader on.”
After former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels decided not to run as Republican presidential candidates, Wicker called Ryan to encourage him to run.
“I don’t think he wanted to put his family through that type of grueling separation at their young age,” Wicker said. “I’m a guy that wanted him at the top of the ticket so you can imagine how pleased I am.”
Gov. Phil Bryant also indicated approval in a release from the Mississippi Republican Party.
“The Romney-Ryan ticket will work to defeat the failed policies of the Obama administration and continue to put forward fresh ideas on how to grow the economy and get spending under control,” Bryant said.
Sen. Thad Cochran said he isn’t as familiar with Ryan as Wicker and Nunnelee but is impressed with him so far.
“I don’t know him that well, but all the things I’ve heard about him are good, and I look forward to working with him,” Cochran said. “I think our nominee is going to win the election so I think we’ll get to know a lot more about him before he is sworn in as vice president.”