Mitt Romney announced via Twitter and and an app that he has chosen Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) August 11, 2012
The pair are appearing at the site of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia this morning.
The left has, predictably, already ginned up an urban legend around Ryan, charging – if you can call it that – that he is a devotee of Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand. As with many lies about Republicans, this one started in the New York Times at the desk of former Enron adviser Paul Krugman.
Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist, recently called Ryan “an Ayn Rand devotee” who wants to “slash benefits for the poor.” New York magazine once alleged that Ryan “requires staffers to read Atlas Shrugged,” Rand’s gospel of capitalism. President Obama has blasted the Ryan budget as Republican “social Darwinism.”
These Rand-related slams, Ryan says, are inaccurate and part of an effort on the left to paint him as a cold-hearted Objectivist. Ryan’s actual philosophy, as reported by my colleague, Brian Bolduc, couldn’t be further from the caricature. As a practicing Roman Catholic, Ryan says, his faith and moral values shape his politics as much as his belief in freedom and capitalism does.
“I, like millions of young people in America, read Rand’s novels when I was young. I enjoyed them,” Ryan says. “They spurred an interest in economics, in the Chicago School and Milton Friedman,” a subject he eventually studied as an undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio. “But it’s a big stretch to suggest that a person is therefore an Objectivist.”
“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand,” he says.
Ayn Rand wasn’t exactly Hitler, last time I checked. If this and killing granny ads are what they’ve got, I think Romney-Ryan is in pretty good shape starting out. I just hope Ryan finds someone who can tailor some suits to fit him properly.
Can’t wait to see Ryan debate our semi-high functioning Vice President.