What FilAms think of Paul Ryan
By Maricar CP Hampton
Depends on where you are in the political aisle, Filipino Republicans believe Paul Ryan’s youth and energy will fire up the GOP presidential campaign, while the Democrats think he won’t make a difference at all.
“I don’t think Mitt Romney’s VP choice will make a difference,” said retired USAF R Sonny Sampayan, who later qualified: “It would make no difference, if Governor Romney cannot be trusted.” Sampayan was alluding to Romney’s resistance to make public his tax returns of the past 10 years.
He said Americans will be voting for a president, not a vice president. “Trust in the presidential candidate is important,” he said. “Romney’s reluctance to release his tax returns is a serious matter for me.”
The surprise choice by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of seven-term Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin sent a buzz of mixed reactions among members of the 3.4 million-strong Filipino American community.
Ryan, 42, is considered a policy wonk and conservative Catholic likely to energize the GOP base and sharpen the campaign’s focus on government spending and the economy.
Some think Ryan is a bold choice for Romney, who passed up more conventional choices like former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Condoleezza Rice.
Migrant Heritage Commission Executive Director Jesse Gatchalian called the Romney-Ryan ticket an ideal team for some sectors.
“Romney-Ryan tandem I’m sure is a warm and energizing welcome to the Tea Party conservatives similar to their reception of Sarah Palin as the VP of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain,” he said.
That positive assessment is shared by realtor Mya Talavera. “Romney made a good choice in Paul Ryan. He is all energetically youthful in mind, body and spirit, especially when that energy is directed to make this country great again under God.”
“But for Democrats,” Gatchalian explains, “It is a very worrisome choice because of the extremist views of Congressman Ryan whose fiscal approach seems to have the goal of ending Medicare and marginalizing our Social Security benefits. Objectively, Congressman Ryan’s views on Medicare, Social Security and our country’s deficits put to danger our senior citizens retirement benefits.”
Some FilAms believe Ryan would boost Romney’s appeal among middle-of-the-road Catholic voters in battleground states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, even though he offers little in the way of foreign policy experience.
Others in the community are taking a “wait and see” stance until they can get a more accurate understanding of who Ryan is and what he stands for.
Lawyer Rod Garcia said he’d like to learn more about the dynamics of a Romney-Ryan ticket before making a choice on who to vote in the coming elections.
“I’m pretty much on the fence right now as to the candidates. But I’m turned off by Republicans who yell, ‘let’s take our country back’ because it seems code for certain degrees of prejudice, disenfranchisement and discrimination,” Garcia averred.
For Talavera, the realtor, Ryan’s choice comes with great expectation and hope. “It’s like I can wake up securely in the morning following his election to office. Honestly, when Obama was elected, I was not able to sleep and I have fears in the mornings that followed,” she said.
This is a shortened version of an article that originally appeared in Fil-Am Star.