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Richmond Times-Dispatch - Paul Ryan, Friend, Fellow Young Gun, Future Leader


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By Representative Eric Cantor

This past weekend, Mitt Romney chose the commonwealth to introduce my good friend and colleague, Rep. Paul Ryan, as his vice-presidential running mate. I was proud to welcome them to the Richmond region during a stop at Homemades by Suzanne, one of the many successful small businesses in our community.

Last time President Obama was in Virginia, he said that he believes government -- not entrepreneurs and small-business owners -- build successful businesses. But that's not what I heard from the enthusiastic crowd in Ashland. They told me about the hard work and risks they took to build their own businesses and create a better future for their families.

We face some very serious challenges as a nation and we need to have an honest debate about what kind of country we want to be. That's why this election is so important. It presents a clear choice between two very different visions for the future of our commonwealth and our country. Do we want more of the same failed policies and big-government spending that hasn't worked? Or do we want more job growth and a stronger economy for a brighter future?
Too many of our friends and neighbors can't find jobs. Hard-working families are struggling to make ends meet, and small business owners aren't hiring.

Virginians deserve leaders who understand what it takes to get the economy going again. Mitt Romney and Paul have a plan to get people back to work, boost small business, strengthen the middle class, and restore economic opportunity.

Romney's selection of Paul underscores the bold vision and leadership we need to get our country back on track. Having worked closely with Paul in the House of Representatives, I've seen firsthand the passion and commitment he brings to pursuing the kind of pro-growth economic policies we need to create more jobs and responsibly reduce our massive debt.

I got to know Paul when we were serving on the Ways and Means Committee together. We had a lot in common and became fast friends. Paul and I both have three kids and share a deep concern for the kind of country we are going to leave them. We would sit for hours and talk about how to change the culture of Washington, what we needed to do in terms of tax reform and how to get the skyrocketing national debt under control. Over the years, Paul has never lost his deep commitment to building a better America for our children.

Recognizing our fresh approach to reform the way Washington works, The Weekly Standard named us the "Young Guns," along with our colleague Kevin McCarthy. In 2010, we co-authored a book about our conservative principles and focused on bringing new, talented young leaders to Washington to fix problems, produce solutions and stop spending money we don't have. Since then, the Young Guns movement has grown in the House and beyond.

For the past two years, we have worked together in Congress to promote positive solutions and new ideas to unleash innovation and spur small business job growth. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul knows the budget better than anyone. He put forward a bold plan to get our fiscal house in order, tackle the drivers of our debt, lower taxes and cut spending. But we need willing partners in the White House and Senate to produce lasting results.

On foreign policy, Paul and I have also traveled together to the Middle East. He understands that Iran is the biggest threat to the United States, our ally Israel and stability in the region, which is why he has always supported a strong national security strategy.

Mitt Romney and Paul get it. They believe we shouldn't raise taxes on small business. They believe we need to reduce red tape and repeal Obamacare, which is making it harder for businesses to grow. They believe we need to develop our domestic energy resources, especially off the coast of Virginia. They believe we need to prevent the devastating defense cuts that will threaten our national security and jobs. With their help, we can finally do these things.

It's time to stop pushing off the tough decisions until tomorrow. It's time to move forward with a clear, common-sense vision that will create jobs, maximize individual liberty, and return America to a place of economic growth and prosperity. I'm excited about the much-needed leadership Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will bring and I look forward to doing everything I can to help make sure they carry Virginia, win the White House, and we reclaim the American dream for our children and future generations.

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