Four days after Paul Ryan‘s selection as Mitt Romney‘s running mate, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has broken his silence on his party’s vice presidential candidate. In a statement emailed to Business Insider, Sen. Paul — whose father, Ron Paul, is technically still running for President — had muted praise for Romney’s V.P. pick, noting that Ryan’s addition to the ticket shows the party’s commitment to tackling debt issues.
“The pick of Paul Ryan solidifies the Republican ticket’s commitment to taking on the pressing issues like the deficit, entitlement reform and tax reform,” Sen. Paul said. “Congressman Ryan’s values and commitment to fixing our fiscal mess stands in stark contrast to Vice President Biden – and presents a clear choice to the American people.”
The statement underscores the conflict that Ryan’s V.P. run presents for Paul World, and for libertarian-minded Republicans at large. Although Ryan and the Pauls share similar concerns about the federal deficit — and a mutual love for Ayn Rand and Austrian economics — both Sen. Paul and his father have been outspoken critics of Ryan’s budget, which they argue does not substantively reduce the federal deficit or go far enough to cut defence spending.
Ron Paul, who is still fighting to get his delegates seated at the Republican National Convention, has yet to comment on Ryan’s selection as V.P. His congressional office referred requests for comment to his campaign, which did not return repeated calls for comment.
In the meantime, this floor speech should give you a sense of how the elder Paul feels about Ryan and his budget:
Mr. Speaker, listening to the claims of the opponents of this budget, one would think it represented a full-frontal assault on the welfare state and the entitlements system. However, in fact—with all respect to Shakespeare—the sound and fury over this budget ultimately signifies nothing. Under this budget, the federal government will spend $3.5 trillion next year, while under President Obama’s budget the federal government will spend $3.8 trillion. The small difference between the congressional budget and the President’s hardly seem to justify the over-heated rhetoric we hear emanating from both sides of the aisle.
Even under the most optimistic scenario, this supposedly radical plan does not balance the federal budget until my one-year old great-granddaughter will be in college. Under less optimistic assumptions, my great granddaughter will be almost 30 before she sees a balanced federal budget. This assumes that Congress will adhere to this year’s budget in future years, a dubious assumption since we cannot bind future Congresses to abide by our spending plans.
*This post was updated at 3:35 p.m.
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