Paul Ryan’s mom offers simple debate advice; sister describes goosebumpsby George Bennett | October 8th, 2012
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.