As news that Mitt Romney made national waves Saturday morning, local Rep. Tim Bishop took the opportunity to point fingers at his own opponent, Randy Altschuler.
“Altschuler, Ryan, and Romney all believe in giving additional tax breaks to millionaires while shifting the tax burden onto middle class families. They believe in slashing Social Security and making seniors pay $6,400 more for Medicare benefits, but they won’t even consider eliminating unjustified tax breaks for oil companies, despite their bloated profits," Bishop said in a statement.
Ryan, 42, has served in the House of Representatives for 14 years, currently chairing the House Budget Committee and serving on the House Ways and Means Committee. In January 2010, Ryan gained attention nationwide after unveiling his “Roadmap for America’s Future," a deficit reduction proposal that Democratic critics lambasted for making cuts to social programs such as Social Security and for shifting entitlements to top earning Americans.
"The Altschuler-approved Ryan Budget would reduce taxes by over a quarter million dollars for the very wealthy, while increasing taxes on the middle class by an average of $2,700,” Bishop said.
Altschuler said he supported Romney's choice, and fired back at Bishop Sunday.
"Governor Romney's pick of Congressman Paul Ryan today signals that he
is willing to do what Congressman Bishop has never done, and that is
have an honest conversation with the American people about the serious
economic and fiscal issues facing this country and pursue real reforms
that will restore fiscal responsibility and revitalize our economy," he said in a statement.
The St. James businessman has also scoffed at Bishop's criticism of his economic platform.
"I won’t be lectured on jobs and the economy by a career bureaucrat turned Washington politician whose policies have destroyed more than 30,000 jobs on Long Island since he took office,” Altschuler said in a June campaign video.
“Tim Bishop is a rubber stamp for Barack Obama, and helped push us into the current economic mess by voting for trillions of dollars in higher taxes, wasteful spending and runaway debt as a Member of Congress."
In 2008, Altschuer just narrowly lost the election for the state's First Congressional District after a recount that lasted over a month. This time, Altschuler is betting that the slow economic recovery over the past four years may sway more voters to back him in 2012.
Romney formally made his VP announcement on a tour of the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, VA, Saturday morning. In the announcement, Romney said Ryan is an "intellectual leader of the Republican Party."
Romney also said Ryan understands that people can have honest disagreements without making personal attacks.
"There are a lot of people in the other party who might disagree with Paul Ryan, but I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t respect his character and judgment," Romney said.
Ryan said he is excited to join Romney's campaign, saying the former Massachusetts governor has the "skills, the background and the character that our country needs at a crucial time in its history."
Romney's pick is seen by national politicos as a risky compared to former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, the other two potential candidates on his VP short list.
In a statement to Politico and other national reporters, President Barack Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina criticized Ryan and his "Roadmap" plan.
"In naming Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen 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 said.
Do you think Romney made the best choice? Let us know in the comments.