Congressman Paul Ryan’s presence on the ticket was insufficient to carry Wisconsin for the GOP in the Presidential election. Coming off the party’s national convention in late August, the Janesville congressman was expected to give presidential campaign of Mitt Romney a boost. That largely didn’t materialize, despite Ryan’s efforts on the campaign trail.
Ryan, whose reputation as a fiscal conservative was a major reason for his selection, was on familiar ground when he hammered on Obama administration fiscal policies during a September campaign stop in Eau Claire. “When we keep spending money we don’t have, when we’re borrowing at the kind of clip we’re borrowing at, we’re going to have a debt crisis,” Ryan said. “The urgency of the moment is yesterday.” Following an awkward photo-op at an Ohio soup kitchen in October, Ryan was largely kept at arm’s length from the media, although he continued to spearhead fund raising efforts in ‘Red’ states.
Once the campaign ended, Ryan was left to speculate about what might have been. “They tell me it (the margin separating President Obama and Romney) was about 427,000 votes spread across four states, so it was a close election, a closely divided country,” he said in an interview with WRJN. “What I get out of this is, we’ve got to get stuff done.”
Ryan retained his House seat, although Democrat Rob Zerban did better than any of Ryan’s previous challengers since his first campaign in 1998. He’ll be serving his eighth term representing southeastern Wisconsin’s 1st District.