In this interview with Yonhap News on August 13, Jay Kim assessed the appointment of House Representative Paul Ryan as the Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate as a move to defeat President Obama by uniting conservatives.
Kim presented four Republican strategies behind the Romney campaign’s selection of the vice presidential candidate.
Pointing out the “reality that Romney does not have 100% of support even among the conservative voters,” Kim said, “this selection seems to be based on a plan to get support from more conservative voters with Ryan who is supported by the far-right Tea Party while attracting support from moderates with Romney.
According to Kim, the fact that Romney, who thinks of himself as an expert on the economy, chose Ryan, a budget expert, clearly shows Romney’s intention to make the economy the key agenda of his campaign rather than international affairs or national security.
Kim said, “Congressman Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is the right person to deal with the issues of the unemployment rate, the federal deficit, tax reform and Obamacare that are at the center of voters’ interest.”
The third strategy is to approach voters in the middle and lower classes with Ryan who grew up in a modest economic background unlike the billionaire Romney.
Finally, according to Kim, Romney, who is relatively old, 65, can appeal to a wider range of generations with Ryan who is just 42 years old, and especially, Ryan would draw in young voters, the main voting block for President Obama.
Ryan’s rapid growth from a congressman from Wisconsin to a major figure in national politics can appeal to young people’s sentiments of the ‘American Dream’.
However, Kim also mentioned things that the Republican Party could lose with this selection.
Ryan’s objection to a tax increase on the rich gave the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign more things to attack, and by selecting him, Romney may lose the Black, Hispanic and other minority voters completely.
Kim also pointed out that since both Republican candidates lack experience in foreign affairs, it is hard to predict how they would deal with the Korea-U.S. alliance or the North Korean nuclear problem.
Still, Kim emphasized, since it is not possible for candidates or their running mates to satisfy everything, they have to make smart choices on things to let go and hold onto in an election.