ELECTIONS

NJ Lawmakers Weigh in on Choice of Ryan Over Christie

Republican Congressman Leonard Lance has been a fan of House colleague Paul Ryan for a few years now.

“He’s very outgoing, he’s very able, he is interested in reform of the government and he’s developed relationships on both sides of the aisle.”

And Lance said there is no doubt the 42-year old Wisconsin representative and House Budget chairman is ready to lead.

“He grew up early because his father died when he was 16 years old. I think he’s taken a great deal of responsibility in his life at a very young age.”

But if Republicans are happy with Gov. Romney’s selection of Ryan, so are Democrats.

“It’s a clear sign the Romney campaign is in trouble,” says Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19). “For their campaign, this late in the campaign season, to be appealing to the conservative base of the party means they’ve had a hard time coalescing their support.”

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Ryan, says Wisniewski, is too conservative to win over Democrats and independents.

“Congressman Ryan is as right as they come. He’s the congressman who proposes to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher program. He’s a congressman that wants to restrict a woman’s right to choose. He’s a congressman that wants to end social security as we know it.”

So was it a safe choice? A risky choice? Or somewhere in between?

According to Nick Acocella of Politifax, it’s a risky choice. “The safe choice was Pawlenty or maybe Rob Portman,” says Acocella. [Romney] had two risky choices — our Gov. Chris Christie and Paul Ryan. He went with the less risky.”

Gov. Christie, who did not get picked is said to be fine with that. he is vacationing with his family this week at the official residence at Island Beach State Park and has no public events planned for the week. Someone close to him says he loves Paul Ryan — they talk and text all the time. Camp Christie is waiting for one more announcement from the Romney campaign — convention keynote speaker.

Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron files this report.