Romney’s choice of Ryan over Rubio underscores a lost opportunity on several important fronts

LatinaLista — The latest Gallup political poll shows that Congress is still getting low marks from the American public.

(L-R) Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio

Ten percent of Americans in August approve of the job Congress is doing, tying last February’s reading as the lowest in Gallup’s 38-year history of this measure. Eighty-three percent disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job.

While no specific congressional representative or senator is singled out as to blame for the low morale among the American people when it comes to our Washington leadership, it seems rather ironic that the one contender for the White House, Rep. Ryan, belongs to the one government entity that ranks so low in public opinion.

The irony of the Ryan pick wasn’t lost on Gallup pollsters who made a point to say:

Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s choice for his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, is himself a sitting member of the House, but it is not clear whether voters’ disdain for Congress will in any way rub off on their assessments of Ryan.

According to their polls, Rep. Ryan garnered the least positive reactions from the American public in the traditional poll of “Americans Immediate Reactions to Vice-Presidential Picks.” In fact, Gallup calls it: “the least positive reactions to a vice presidential choice Gallup has recorded in recent elections.”

Given how Romney has tried to distance himself from his running mate’s budget policy, underscores how Ryan may just be Romney’s “Sarah Palin” — a candidate wanted for their appeal to Tea Partiers but on the sidelines when trying to explain the GOP stance on healthcare, education, Medicare and Medicaid — especially since it disproportionately impacts Latinos, Blacks and the poor.

In light of all that has transpired, the question has to be asked: Would Rubio have been the better choice?

As each day passes, it becomes clear that he would have been.

With Rubio, Romney would have still appealed to the Tea Party; gotten some Latino voters, whether Republican Latinos or those who still feel a vote for a Latino is a vote for political progress, regardless of the party; would not have to distance himself from a lightning rod issue — the budget — more electrified than immigration reform and he would have had a ready-made colleague who could represent the US to our southern neighbors, a region of the world that will increasingly need this country’s attention in the near future.

Choosing Paul Ryan made Romney’s job that much harder to sell himself to the public — but at least he only has to do it one language now.

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