Let The Uniting Begin: Ryan, Rubio Endorse Romney

01Apr12

The decisions by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan to endorse Mitt Romney are very important for two reasons.

Despite plenty of speculation, it shows Rubio and Ryan will more than likely not be Romney’s pick for Vice President. Rubio told MSNBC he wouldn’t be the VP nominee. Paul Ryan admits he’d listen if asked, but made a much more important statement saying if he really wanted to be president or vice president he would have run for the nomination.

It’s actually not a bad thing for the two to stay where they are. There needs to be strong, fiscal/constitutional conservatives in the legislature. People like Ryan,  Rubio, Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul,  South Dakota Senator John Thune give them that. They can also encourage keeping the purse strings tighter than normal. As witnessed when the the House unanimously rejected Obama’s budget, but passed Ryan’s, Congress is important in getting the nation’s budget set. A president can argue for a budget as much as he wants to, but if Congress doesn’t pass it it won’t be done.

So the question is now who will the VP pick be?

The Washington Post has a great graphic (including Ryan and Rubio) on potential picks. I would personally love it if Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels got he nod. But he might be too dry for people. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is another great pick, but he might not “be ready for prime time” just yet. If Romney loses in November, then Jindal would be a prime choice for 2016. I’m a little surprised Rand Paul wasn’t on the list, but would it be better for him to stay in the U.S. Senate and have a similar role with Rubio. Rick Santorum might want to be VP but I doubt he’d bring in the Tea Party/libertarian vote. His supporters are rabid, but I know a lot of people who have expressed concerns over his social conservative standpoints. Being a big government conservative won’t bring people in.
I think this is much more important than the first part. The GOP has to be united. Benjamin Franklin had it best in his  “Join, or Die” cartoon: the only way to be effective is to unite. I’m still not sure Mitt Romney can actually beat President Obama. But the ex-Massachusetts governor has a better shot with a “united” party.

The last election was pretty indicative at how important unification is. I think a lot of Republicans either didn’t show up or just didn’t care, because of how weak a nominee John McCain was. While Sarah Palin did a lot to galvanize conservatives, it wasn’t enough. As former president George H.W. Bush said: sometimes you have to know when to fold ’em. The GOP has to be united if they want to get Obama out of office.

There are plenty of problems with Romney’s record already, and the chaos of a brokered convention sounds great, but what Rubio and Ryan are showing is how important it is to be united. And in the end, that might be what secures Romney’s nomination.



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