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Paul Ryan’s mom offers simple debate advice; sister describes goosebumps

by George Bennett | October 8th, 2012

Betty Douglas phones a voter from a GOP office in Fort Lauderdale.

FORT LAUDERDALE — Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan‘s mother offered some simple advice to her son in advance of Thursday night’s debate with Vice President Joe Biden.

“Any advice for him? Just be yourself, which he is anyway,” said Betty Douglas, a Lauderdale-By-The-Sea resident.

“I think he’s going to do very, very well because, first of all, he’s not afraid to speak. He’s not afraid to confront. And he does do his homework, and oh has he been studying,” Douglas told reporters and campaign volunteers at a Mitt Romney campaign office tonight.

Douglas and her daughter, Janet Ryan Rock, stopped by the office on East Oakland Park Boulevard so Douglas could place what campaign officials estimate was the 9 millionth call contacting Florida voters for Romney.

“My name is Betty Douglas and I am Paul Ryan’s mother….Paul Ryan’s mother…He’s running for the vice presidency,” Douglas told a prospective voter after her first attempt reached an answering machine.

“Can Mitt Romney and my son, Paul Ryan, count on your support?” Douglas asked. The voter said she was on board, eliciting cheers from the onlookers who crammed into the office.

Douglas, 78, has become a key figure when Ryan campaigns in senior-heavy Florida. The VP nominee tells crowds he’d never do anything to threaten Medicare for his mother and her peers, but Ryan says Medicare’s long-term solvency problems require changes when people who are now 54 and younger reach retirement.

Even before Romney made House Budget Chairman Ryan his running mate, many Democrats were campaigning against the “Ryan budget” and its proposals for spending cuts and an overhaul of Medicare to offer future retirees the option of a federal subsidy to purchase private health insurance.

Asked how she felt about the criticism of her son and his budget plan, Douglas said: “I’ve been so prepped by Paul that ‘Mother it gets ugly, it gets nasty’….He warned, he said ‘Look out.’”

Rock, who is Ryan’s older sister, is a chef who lives in Massachusetts.

“He’s been in Congress for 14 years, representing the 1st District in Wisconsin, and that entire time I have lived in Massachusetts. This is my first time I get to vote for him….It gives me goosebumps,” Rock said.

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6 Responses to “Paul Ryan’s mom offers simple debate advice; sister describes goosebumps”

  1. James Says:

    Well, of course Ryan’s mom would say be “yourself”. Ryan and his whole family, have lived off the government, making a fortune off government grants for road building. Ryan has gotten Social Security to go to collage and got a government pay check and platinum health care his whole adult life. Now he hypocritically promotes cutting off health benefits and passing off Social Security to his rich Wall Street backers. Too bad his mother didn’t feel her son the be honest and tell the truth for a change.

  2. Bob Says:

    I recall Rick Scott’s mother telling all of the citizens of “Floriduh” in a TV ad “He’s a good boy”. Yeah right, and Adolf Hitler was a humanatarian!

  3. Typical Democrat Hate of Mothers Says:

    Yep, the democrats attack MOTHERS. Very typical and EVIL.

    We can’t have another 4 years of this HATE. It is perpetrated to such a degree by rabid democrats.

    Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he can work with both sides of the aisle. As Gov of MA, Romney WORKED with his legislators which were 87% DEMOCRATS.

    Romney has DEMONSTRATED his ability to WORK with ALL.

    Obama has NOT demonstrated that ability. He antagnogizes and divides.

    Romney created the FIRST healthcare for the people of the ENTIRE STATE OF MA! He is a MAN of ALL PEOPLE and willing to work with opposition. Obama has never demonstrated that ability. He seems filled with hate.

  4. Mother's Pride Says:

    Stop stooping so low as to attack a candidate’s mother.

    That is reprehensible. All mothers are proud of their children.

    You can’t expect to get women’s vote when you attack a proud elderly parent of any gender.

  5. Sara Ryan Says:

    How Biden will beat Ryan:

    1. First, make no gaffes
    Biden’s first order of business is, like a physician, to do no harm: Don’t make the “story” of the night one of his trademark verbal miscues. That may be hard, since the vice president is under a lot of pressure to be aggressive, GOP campaign veteran Tracey Schmitt tells Politico. And “when he is all guns blazing he tends to misfire.” Biden doesn’t usually make big gaffes in debates, says Ramesh Ponnuru at Bloomberg View, but he’ll be hard-pressed to match Ryan’s command of policy. And when it comes to counterattacking, “an inadequate response can come across as bluster.”

    2. Bring up Ryan’s Medicare and Social Security plans, a lot
    Policy actually makes Ryan “a particularly ripe target” for Biden, says Steve Kornacki at Salon. Romney’s No. 2 is, after all, the author of “a far-right budget blueprint” that Romney and the GOP have embraced as a sacred text — “and that Democratic candidates across the country are eagerly running against.” Team Obama believes that because “Ryan is far more committed to his philosophical conservatism than Romney,” he’ll be less comfortable disowning his unpopular ideas to remake Medicare and Social Security than Romney was in his debate, says Jonathan Martin at Politico. Biden is almost certainly being asked to exploit that vulnerability.

    3. Politely press Ryan on Romney’s untruths
    Ryan, of course, isn’t running for president, says Salon’s Kornacki, but that doesn’t mean Biden can’t use the debate to undermine Romney. Unlike his boss, Biden should hammer home the sharp differences between the Obama and Romney policies, and more crucially, “challenge Ryan directly on the false claims that Romney made” in his debate. People say VP debates don’t matter, but the 2008 face-off between Biden and Sarah Palin was “one of the most-watched political debates in history.” If happy-warrior Biden can make Romney look shifty in front of a large audience, he’ll do Obama — and himself — a world of good.

    4. Deploy the attacks Obama left on the table
    This debate is less like 2008 than the 2004 meet between Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), says Politico’s Martin. Cheney “memorably scorched” the less-seasoned Edwards, and Biden needs to similarly thrash Ryan “on those issues that Obama handled weakly or entirely failed to raise last week,” like Romney’s “47 percent” flub and opposition to the auto bailout. This is a good role for Biden, says Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast. For all the focus on his gaffes, he’s also “capable of passion and intelligence and something that completely eluded Obama last Wednesday — the memorable soundbite.”

    5. Trip Ryan up on his numbers
    The Wisconsin congressman’s reputation as an “intellectual policy wonk” can be exploited, too, University of Pennsylvania’s Kathleen Hall Jamieson tells National Journal. His math is a little fuzzy at times, and if Biden “can catch him in an error, he’ll be able to dislodge the dominant narrative about Ryan.” Fuzzy? “His budget, like Romney’s tax plan, is a three-card-monte game,” says The Daily Beast’s Tomasky. When he’s challenged on why “his numbers don’t really add up,” he will indubitably “smile sweetly” and insist they do. “Biden will surely come in knowing that his job No. 1 is to pin Ryan to the mat and make him wriggle.”

  6. Mattrue Says:

    My advice for Paul Ryan is duck or bleed. Joe Biden slammed Ryan in every aspect of the debate. This is more than anyone expected from Joe Biden and he never gave in or gave up on the facts. Joe Biden gave Paul Ryan the knock out punch from the middle class Americans. The Democrats have leveled the playing field and stuck the republicans with an uppercut knockout punch. Now Obama has the ball back in his court and needs to slam dunk Rmoney in the next debate. Good job Joe Biden and the middle class of America and don’t let the looser republicans take it away from you.

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