Earlier this month, Bill Fischer, spokesman for the Rhode Island Democratic party, prophetically said in a statement to the press: “Paul Ryan may not be a household name to everyone in Rhode Island, but if you’re a senior citizen who relies on Medicare, you should know who he is and what he stands for, because these are the types of Republicans Brendan will be standing with and voting with, if elected to Congress.”
Well now that Paul Ryan is a household name, time will tell whom he proves to better benefit as a vice presidential candidate: Mitt Romney or President Obama. But his selection is certainly not going to help Brendan Doherty. The conservative-thinking, political newcomer is trying to parse himself as a moderate. But he’s has already suffered some from his close relationship with Ryan.
In May, Doherty told a Tea Party group in the East Bay that he supported Paul Ryan and his Medicare-cutting budget proposal. “I had a great opportunity to meet with Paul Ryan about a month ago and that’s his position and he’s digging his feet in and I applaud him for that and I support him,” Doherty said.
Later on the trail, Doherty said he wouldn’t vote to cut Medicare. But Paul Ryan donates to Doherty’s campaign and he *really wants to cut Medicare. “Furthermore, Mr. Doherty has gladly accepted $5,000 in campaign contributions from Mr. Ryan’s Prosperity PAC, further proof that Rhode Island’s seniors cannot trust Brendan Doherty to protect Medicare,” Fischer said in early August.
Perhaps this is why RIPR political reporter Ian Donnis said Doherty “walks a fine line in backing Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan.” (At least, I assume Ian writes his own headlines) in his statement on the selection.
Indeed, Doherty practically cops to the fact that Ryan is one of Washington’s most polarizing power players: “I do not believe that one political party is good and the other is bad. I do not believe that one party is for the middle class and the other is against it. I will focus on ideas that are formed through the cooperation of like-minded leaders from both parties, and those leaders then build consensus on both sides of the aisle.”
Great. If it’s true. But because Doherty is a political novice we have no idea what he will do if he ever gets elected to office. We know just since running for office he has changed what he thinks – or says – about Paul Ryan’s extremist budget proposal, among other issues.