Ryan a popular pick among S.C. tea partiers
COLUMBIA — Joe Dugan, chairman of the Myrtle Beach Tea Party, went to bed Friday night resigned to voting for Mitt Romney.
Dugan felt a good deal better about his choice of Romney for president Saturday morning, after learning that Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was Romney’s pick for vice president on the Republican ticket.
“Paul Ryan gets it fiscally,” Dugan said. “He understands the magnitude of the problems we face.”
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Romney was all but assured of taking conservative South Carolina’s nine electoral votes in November regardless of his running mate. But his Saturday pick of Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, stands to bolster Romney’s support among the state’s conservatives and tea party members — a group wary of “mainstream Republican” Romney.
Ryan’s selection pleased Gov. Nikki Haley, who endorsed Romney early in the GOP primary process and will address the Republican National Convention this month.
“We now officially have a Dream Team of solutions: Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan!” Haley wrote on her Facebook page.
In choosing Ryan from the Midwest’s Rust Belt, Romney offered up ideological balance, a nod to the tea party wing of the GOP that thrives in many red states, including South Carolina.
“Great choice for VP,” tweeted Sen. Jim DeMint of Greenville, a tea party favorite. “America needs a little R&R (Romney and Ryan)!”