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Mitt’s Gutsy Call

Mitt Romney’s decision to select Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate speaks well of the man who made it. Indeed, it seemed less like the moderate man we have come to know than Adm. David Farragut in Mobile Bay: “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”

Facing sinking polls, endless attack ads on his tax returns and Bain Capital record, and venomous lies that he was culpable in the cancer death of the wife of a steelworker seven years after he left Bain, Romney decided to convert this dismal campaign into a stark choice of philosophies and policies. Picking Ryan, Mitt shoved his whole stack of chips into the middle of the table and sent this message to the American people:

Friends, our country is in trouble. If we do not lift the burden of taxation, regulation and spending that has produced $5 trillion in new debt in four years, we are going the way of Spain and Greece.

I have chosen this young leader Paul Ryan to be my partner because he has thought more deeply and read more closely into the causes and consequences of our fiscal crisis than any other man in Washington.


Now President Obama says his approach to solving America’s fiscal crisis has ‘worked.’ If you believe that, go ahead and vote for him.

But Paul Ryan and I believe that 42 straight months of 8 percent unemployment, $5 trillion in new debt and trillion-dollar deficits staring at us all the way to the horizon is a course to fiscal and financial ruin. He and I do not believe America can survive many more years of what Barack Obama has produced and promises to produce.

We are offering America a different direction from the radical-liberal path of Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, where the federal government consumes a fourth of the entire economy. We are offering a Romney-Reagan-Ryan conservative road to prosperity.

I am not going to tell you this will not involve sacrifice. But if you believe this country needs a course correction, then we are asking you to take a chance with change to restore an America where our children can anticipate the better future we all could when we were growing up.

You know and I know there is something fundamentally wrong with the direction in which we are headed. And the proof lies in the grim statistics that keep coming in month after month after month.

Romney’s choice of Ryan makes the election of 2012 not only a report card and referendum on Obama, but a clear choice between philosophies.

Obama believes government is the engine of prosperity. Romney and Ryan believe people, private institutions, entrepreneurs and businesses are the creative and energizing forces in society.

And what a difference four years have made in this president.

In 2008, Obama was the candidate of “hope and change.” In 2012, Obama is the candidate of inflexibility and fear.

Look at him, his surrogates and his ads.

Do they not all say to the American people: Be afraid, be terrified of what Romney and that dangerous Ryan would do. Be fearful, for Romney and Ryan will take from you what you have, while we will make sure you keep what you have, and we promise you more.

With the selection of Ryan, Mitt Romney has made this election a test of the people themselves. Two-thirds of all Americans, according to polls, believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Will they vote for Romney-Ryan to change course, or for Obama to continue on that course because they fear the unknown to the known?

The predictable Democratic response to Ryan’s candidacy has begun. They are rummaging through his budget to find proposed cuts and crafting ads to frighten portions of the population about what those terrible cuts might mean to them.

Will it work?

Well, this will be a test of the communications skills of the Romney-Ryan campaign. Can they persuade the people to boot the Obamaites out of the wheelhouse and entrust them with the leadership of the nation?

Second, it will be a test of the people. Can they, will they reject the frightening picture that will be painted of Romney and Ryan’s America?

America has faced course corrections before, with 1932 and 1980 coming to mind. In both those elections, the failed leadership was broomed out in a landslide.

Is there any doubt that this administration, too, has fallen short of what it promised? Is there any doubt that it, too, has failed?

But are we the same people those generations were? Or have we become the fearful and risk-averse electorate the consultants and the ad-makers think we are?

We shall see.

Nevertheless, Romney is owed a debt for choosing a man of principles and conservative philosophy as a running mate, thereby giving this country a clear choice as to the future it wants to live in.

However it comes out, this decision was a gutsy call.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of TAC and the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? [1]” Copyright 2012 Creators.com [2].

32 Comments (Open | Close)

32 Comments To "Mitt’s Gutsy Call"

#1 Comment By SnowCrash7 On August 14, 2012 @ 8:32 am

As a retired combat arms NCO I have to disagree. How ‘gutsy’ is it to claim to want to reign in spending when you want to increase military spending including making the US even more subservient to Israel’s desires than it already is?
They talk about the necessity for sacrifice. I bet that ‘sacrifice’ won’t extend to many if any of the over 900 military installation we support world wide.
In my book that’s not a champion of anything. That’s a hypocrite.

#2 Comment By Nathan On August 14, 2012 @ 9:22 am

Oh I love Pat but please. A man of principle? As Gene Healy pointed out in his column this morning this “man of principle” voted for no child left behind, Plan D, the auto and bank bailouts. He voted for TARP and gave an hysterical speech demanding others to do the same. All of these added trillions to the debt.

His “brilliant” budget proposal doesn’t touch defense, it in fact increases it. He talked about the need to be the world’s policeman something that Pat NEVER supports. If you’re not talking about cutting defense, especially after the IG report which among other things called the 1.5 trillion dollar F-35 program a white elephant, you’re not serious about cutting the budget.

If Ryan based on his record is a “man of principle” we’re in deep trouble. This has to be one of Pat’s worst columns. Sorry.

#3 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On August 14, 2012 @ 9:36 am

“burden of taxation”? prove it; Mitt! and why “lift” this burden, when you can sidestep it; and park your cash in the Cayman Islands? cynical move; yes. “gutsy”; PLEASE.

#4 Comment By Maria On August 14, 2012 @ 9:52 am

Dear Mr. Buchanan: Please do tell your readers the difference between Romney/Ryan and Obama. Bailouts? No. Nationalized health care mandates? No. Big government programs? No. Unfunded entitlements? No. Warmongering? No. I would like to know what you mean by saying there’s a stark contrast between Obama and these two characters.

#5 Comment By Don On August 14, 2012 @ 10:14 am

As much as I enjoy reading Pat’s books and columns, he just cannot help reverting to his Republican party roots. When I read his endorsement of Ryan, I have to wonder why folks continue to refer to Pat as a paleo-conservative – he might as well throw in with the neocons and Israel Firsters at AIPAC, AEI, and The Weekly Standard!

#6 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On August 14, 2012 @ 10:33 am

@Maria – as I noted previously; his track record suggests he’s better suited to be Obama’s running mate

#7 Comment By Chris On August 14, 2012 @ 10:48 am

Why is TAC still running Buchanan? Gutsy call, my arse.

#8 Comment By Dimitry Aleksandrovich On August 14, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

Mr. Buchanan,

Since when have you become a fan of the mainstream corporate owned Republican Party. That’s what Romney/Ryan represent to me. It’s more of the same b.s….I hear nothing about ending the disastrous wars abroad. I hear nothing about staying out of Syria where millions of Christians and other minority could very well wind up being slaughtered by America’s Wahhabist terrorist friends should Assad go. I’ve heard nothing about an overhaul of U.S. trade policy that helped result in the closing of that steelmill in Kansas City that Bain profited off of. I want tariffs on foreign goods. I want subsidies to jumpstart American manufacturing. I want out of NAFTA and the WTO. I want out of NATO. I want the Wall Street types who have corrupted Washington and sold out our nation to be sent to do hard labor on the frozen tundra in Alaska with their lackies from Capitol Hill.

Romney and Ryan are not what I’d call “Buchanan” Republicans but if you support them then maybe your views have changed. I was disappointed to read that even Ron Paul was considering supporting Romney.

We need you Mr. Buchanan. We need you to be just as critical of Romney and Ryan as you were of Bush/Cheney because I see very little difference between them.

#9 Comment By Bob On August 14, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

Congratulations Pat. I think you just might get that job at Fox. Way to sell out to the neocon wing of the Republican Party.

#10 Comment By Frank Lettucebee On August 14, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

Perhaps the guts that Mr. Buchanan was referring to was the guts to foist Mr. Ryan on the American people as the voice of reason and conservatism.

At one time, the terms conservative and right winger were interchangeable. Now they are not.

The abyss between an Orwellian rabid right winger and a conservative is much greater than the differences between a real conservative and a real liberal. Same as the abyss between a wacko loony leftie and a real liberal is much greater than the differences between a real liberal and a real conservative.

As a proud real conservative, it is disheartening for a right winger to be given the mantle of the crown prince of conservatism.

Mr. Ryan has been a charter member of the fiscal libertine, fact free, truth denying, reality rejecting Orwellian rabid right since he gained office. He supports tax cuts for the rich and powerful plutocrats and oligarchs ruling class (ruling class) and class war on the poor, blue collar and middle class (the neglected 99% better known as “us” or “we the people”) economic/social/cultural policies began by President Reagan properly referred to as voodoonomic.

Mr. Ryan’s policies, like most of the phoney conservative Republicans of today, all revert back to the “starve the beast” grand theory that began appearing in the 1970s conservative journals and started to be implemented in the 1980s by President Reagan. Through under taxation by large tax rate cuts for the ruling class, create a severe revenue shortfall, spurring a fiscal and economic crisis, which can be used and branded as a cause and need to attack benefits and programs for us and savagely shrink government. If the right wing ideologues really play it well, they can even get credit for providing strong and wise leadership during a time of economic turmoil and national tumult that their policies created.

As well, as a right winger he spun deregulation as a spur to economic growth rather than a destruction of rules and a level playing field. Thus creating a country where the ruling class is unfettered and can extort from us ever larger tribute.

Except fiscal libertine right wingers like Mr. Ryan never got around to savagely slashing government spending. Making Americans and America over indebted was too rewarding politically. Americans, both the modern Republican and Democrat, love big government. but we love only paying for very small government.

The ruling class gets ever richer and more powerful and our country and we get weaker and poorer. Once the country gets wise to his vision of further tax rate cuts for the ruling class paid for by the rest of us having Medicare, Medicaid, social security and other middle class programs dismantled, the initial bloom of infatuation will fade except for the most Orwellian rabid right wingers and their mindless hatred of government and the American people and nation.

It is guys like Mr. Ryan who mistake and spin the playing with paper, swishing money around, Wall Street and CEO pirates and parasites of casino corporatism that benefits only the ruling class for real capitalism and free enterprise which benefits all of us.

#11 Comment By William Dalton On August 14, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

I think you critics of this column should give Pat a break. Everything you say about Ryan is true, but given that the same is true of Romney, it was not realistic to hope he would choose a running mate who contradicts him on the very point that Pat consistently does. Yes, Romney and Ryan are exponents of the “half-way covenant” of budget reform, but just by making the issue of budget reform his own, Romney does the nation the service of seeing that it will be fully discussed this campaign season. Whether by Gary Johnson or Ron Paul, we can be certain that when cutting government spending is discussed in the debates which will ensue from the Ryan selection military procurement and deployments will be part of that discussion in a way it hasn’t been in decades. Pat is right to welcome this debate and is right to welcome Ryan as the catalyst for it. We can be certain that in future columns he will confront both Obama and Romney with the issue of “defense” spending and he will write just as clearly in doing so.

#12 Comment By Gerard On August 14, 2012 @ 2:47 pm


I saw where Ryan had already be tutored by Abrams and Kagan.

#13 Comment By Mark On August 14, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

I expect so much more from a Patrick J.Buchanan article. The only one’s who problably enjoyed this article are Pat’s new “colleagues” on Brett Baer’s daily Neocon Love Fest on Fox. Thank you Daniel Larison for shining the light of truth on Paul Ryan.

#14 Comment By EarlyBird On August 14, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

Romney’s and Ryan’s numbers don’t add up anymore than Obama’s do. Where Obama will bankrupt the US by trying to take care of the middle class, Romney will bankrupt the US by taking care of the ultra rich.

Romney would spend even more on our military, get into even more unnecessary wars (Iran), while slashing all other spending to the bone and giving the richest among us tax breaks. Magically, that will grow the economy, reduce our debt and lift everyone on the rising economic waters.

Wrong. We know it doesn’t work because we’ve been doing that for nearly 40 years. And in that time the US has fallen behind on nearly every metric but military dominance. Trickle-down economics was a bold idea in the ’80s; by now we must see it clearly as a failed experiment.

Obama has it wrong when he tells business owners “you didn’t build that,” but Romney is equally wrong to suggest that government isn’t critical to creating the conditions for individual achievement. Government, properly understood and run, has a vital place in the modern world, including DOING things to keep the country competitive. For generations conservatives understood that.

No, the real radicals are the Romneys, Ryans, Koch brothers and others who refuse to acknowledge the rightful place of government. Obama is just another boring, uncreative, paleo-liberal, not something new or scary that the US has never seen before.

Sad choice we have been given.

#15 Comment By Clint On August 14, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

Mr.Gutsy is already running away from Ryan’s Budget Plan.

This is Establishment CINO GOP McCain Redux.

#16 Comment By Jake Lukas On August 14, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

Adm. David Farragut? With this military budget, it’s more like Edward Smith, captain of the Titanic, were to say, “Damn the icebergs! Full speed ahead!”

#17 Comment By Perry On August 14, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

I have to agree with most of the others who commented. Romney-Ryan want shared suffering for domestic programs only.

They wont stand for shared suffering with respect to foreign aid, particularly foreign aid to Israel.

They wont stand for shared suffering with respect to ending foreign wars, closing foreign bases and narrowing foreign obligations.

There was already shared suffering on the part of US citizens who are poor, middle class and senior citizens. Obamacare gave the savings to maintain high legal and illegal immigration.

There was already shared suffering and the republicans gave into the Israel Lobby and gave us over a decade of Middle Eastern War.

Dont talk to me about shared suffering on domestic programs unless corporate loopholes for multinationals and the finance industry start paying taxes.

Dont talk to me about shared suffering unless military obligations and foreign aid are on the list of cuts.

Im a republican conservative…but as usual the democrats/liberals only get half the message and republicans/conservatives only get half the message.

Its a waste of time to ask any american to take a side until the parties get the full message. Domestic Programs first. Foreign priorities 2nd and no more immigration.

#18 Comment By Mike Ehling On August 14, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

Everybody’s pretty much already said it about Etch-a-Sketch Mittens and the military budget.

Just two additional, different observations:

1. George Romney’s capitalism was industrial capitalism. He manufactured stuff. Etch-a-Sketch‘s is finance capitalism. It’s crony capitalism and stock jobbing.

2. Love or hate Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan is no Randian (and neither is Alan Greenspan). Aside from military budgets, abortion, religion, and a whole host of other differences between Ryan and Rand, the key to Atlas Shrugged is the gold dollar sign. I didn’t say the dollar sign, but the gold dollar sign. The gold standard was the key to Ayn Rand, and thus (though I don’t mean to insult him by comparing him to Ayn Rand) Ron Paul with his opposition to the Federal Reserve Board is a truer Randian than either Ryan or Greenspan.

#19 Comment By Ken Hoop On August 14, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

Never depend on Buchanan to apply not only the principals, but the specific positions he has taken in the past to a “crisis” scenario when narrow GOP interests are in play.

And William Dalton, Ryan is not a man of strong principals or traditional conservative philosophy as Buchanan writes, so you are realistically saying it’s okay for Buchanan to falsely portray in order to only bring in false portrayal of false issues in a phony debate between two equally corrupt parties.

#20 Comment By Ken Hoop On August 14, 2012 @ 7:15 pm


Actually I believe Dave Schuler presents far more truth for a real conservative to take and weigh in this post.

#21 Comment By tbraton On August 14, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

I think Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan is the gutsiest call since Joe Gibbs called for a screen pass deep in his own territory just before halftime in the 1984 Super Bowl. The Joe Thiesman pass was intercepted by Oakland and returned for a touchdown that put the Skins even deeper in the hole, and the Raiders went on to soundly defeat one of the best Redskins teams ever. Gutsy is not the same as smart. I fear the selection of Ryan will turn an almost certain victory into an almost certain defeat. What exactly does Ryan add to the ticket? I know that his presence threatens possible victories in the vital states of Ohio and Florida. His selection makes no sense at all since he is relatively young, relatively inexperienced with almost all his adult life being spent in Washington, D.C., has never run for or won statewide office, has no executive experience whatsover, and has authored a plan which the Romney campaign felt the need to distance itself from on the very day Ryan was named as V-P.

#22 Comment By Nick K. On August 14, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

What is this spell that Ryan casts over conservatives? Am I just excessively cynical to think that none of these politicians- regardless of the flavor of their posturing- actually cares about doing anything good? Aren’t all of them- Obama, Romney, McCain, Ryan- just in the game for personal power and plunder?

#23 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On August 15, 2012 @ 12:21 am

@Mike Ehling. Atlas Shrugged was a work of fiction, written by an amphetamine-addled ‘script polisher’. the fact that intellectual infants like Ryan cite Rand in terms of policy and government is disturbing. has Ryan ever considered how Dabney Taggart’s enterprise (railroad) came to be? Did the Taggart’s before her “build it”? and by “built it” I mean, wipe out the indigenous peoples and secure the land. Ayn Rand wrote a pathetic, juvenile romance novel (the “Hannah Montana” of her generation) in which she pine for ‘the best of both worlds’. I did not vote for Obama in ’08 and I will not in ’12; but the idea the Romney-Ryan is a better mousetrap; or that the past 4 years are connected to “a Rand novel” is childish thinking.

#24 Comment By Philo Vaihinger On August 15, 2012 @ 4:28 am

With every election Pat abandons his isolationism, anti-Zionism, and economic nationalism to carry water for neo-cons, libertarians, and Wall Street globo-capitalists.

But those folks have never stood by him and have labeled him an anti-Semite and racist for his trouble.

Maybe he should flip to the Democrats.

#25 Comment By Uncle Vanya On August 15, 2012 @ 10:03 am

I’m voting 3rd party this year, and I’m doing so without reservation.

Both parties have become opposite sides of the same counterfeit coin, and with that the rules of the game have changed. One could use one’s vote to choose, as in previous elections, the lesser of two evils. But, more effective now is to simply vote one’s conscience and thereby make one’s dissatisfaction with the party’s candidates and policies known.

Aren’t we always told that a consumer has choices? So why as voters do we have to choose between one unsavory option versus another? Most effective now is to simply say, “Sorry, I choose none of the above” and vote 3rd party.

#26 Comment By daddysteve On August 15, 2012 @ 10:40 am

Gutsy like McCain’s choosing of Palin? A lame attempt to woo some conservatives? Not lame to some , it would seem.

#27 Comment By Maria On August 15, 2012 @ 12:35 pm


#28 Comment By Max On August 15, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

The comments section on this board paints a far more accurate picture of Ryan than Mr. Buchanen’s article. A more enjoyable read, too!

#29 Comment By Mike Ehling On August 15, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

@Joe the Plutocrat: Agreed. Ryan’s the whack job who claims to be proselytizing Rand, though, not me. But I don’t care whether you agree with Rand or not, just do get her right, and Ryan (like Greenspan) absolutely does not.

#30 Comment By VikingLS On August 15, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

When Buchanan wrote a collumn gushing about Sarah Palin in 2008 I was shocked and outraged that he wasn’t considering that she was running alongside the epitome of everything Buchanan opposes in the GOP. Over time I have come to accept that every now and then he feels he has to play along with the party. Don’t worry folks this isn’t the Star Wars Universe and a single (or periodic indiscretions) don’t marry you forever to the darkside.

#31 Comment By Uncle Vanya On August 15, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

You know what’s not gutsy, Pat? Backing down and abandoning your principles out of party loyalty; going along for “fellowship’s sake” every 4 years like Pavlov’s dog barking on cue.

Why not be bold, Pat, and admit the truth? Neither party is now worth a damn, both having sold out to special interests.

#32 Comment By Dimitry Aleksandrovich On August 16, 2012 @ 2:33 am

I have much respect and affection for Mr. Buchanan he is a big part of the reason I am no longer a supporter of the neo-conservatives. I just think Uncle Vanya is right and Mr. Buchanan you must if you believe the way you write, you must abandon party loyalty because the Republican Party (as well as the Democratic Party) has no loyalty to the American people.