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Republican VP Choice May Not Resonate In 52nd Congressional District

Aired 8/15/12 on KPBS News.

The addition of Paul Ryan as vice president on the Republican ticket could affect the 52nd Congressional race in San Diego, where polls show the incumbent, Republican Brian Bilbray, and challenger, Democrat Scott Peters, are running neck and neck.

The addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican ticket helps define the battle lines in November. It could also affect the local Congressional races in San Diego, especially the 52nd district where Republican Brian Bilbray is fighting to defend his seat from Democrat Scott Peters.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., points to piles of the health care overhaul legislati...
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Above: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., points to piles of the health care overhaul legislation during a markup hearing before the U.S. House Budget Committee last year in Washington, D.C.

Peters said he believes the choice of Paul Ryan will not be popular with many of the voters in the newly redistricted 52nd district, which runs from Imperial Beach to Poway.

“We have a really pragmatic district,” Peters said, “we’re not the most partisan district - a third Republican, a third Democrat and a third independent. Paul Ryan represents really a Tea Party approach to government. I don’t think that’s going to be shared by most of the voters in the district, though that’s something Brian Bilbray has supported in the past.”

Bilbray has voted for the Ryan budget, which includes across-the-board tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, and spending cuts to health care and education. Bilbray was unavailable for comment. His staff said he is out of Washington D.C. this week, spending time with his daughter.

A poll released earlier this month by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows Bilbray and Peters running neck-and-neck with 45 percent each, in spite of Bilbray’s greater name recognition. He has served in Congress for 12 years. (Note: correcting a previous version that said Bilbray served for "the past" 12 years. In fact he represented the 49th district from 1995 to 2001 before losing that seat to democrat Susan Davis. Then he won a special election in 2006 to complete the 50th district term of Randy Cunningham, who resigned after pleading guilty to bribery charges. Due to redistricting, the 50th district has now become the 52nd congressional district.)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has earmarked $1.7 million for airtime to defeat Peters. But the Democratic Congressional Committee and the Democratic House Majority PAC have promised a total of $2.9 million to air ads attacking Bilbray.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 13, 2012 at 7:20 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Ryan is a dangerous man.

His maneurisms and down to earth appearance don't jive with his radically right wing agenda.

He is a dapper mild mannered gentleman pushing a scary, freakishly fanatic Tea Party platform.

Ryan wants seniors to no longer have Medicare. He wants to give them checks hen they get sick, checks that won't cover even a fraction of a major illness.

He also wants to remove social services and programs for the poor.

In fact Ryan, a devout Catholic, was criticized by Catholic groups as being "immoral" for writing a plan that strips aid for the needy while giving yet *more* tax breaks for the rich and for corporations.

I don't like Mr. Ryan, I don't trust Mr. Ryan, and I it makes me ill to think of a man like this making important decisions for my country.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

By the way, Mr. Ryan seems to be tea party friendly.

Yet more proof the tea party is **not** anti-Wahington insider.

Ryan is the ultimate Washington good 'ol boy.

He has been hobnobbing in Washington D.C. with the political elite since his 20s.

I like the way he keeps his wife nd kids in WI while he maintains residence in the Washington D.C. area so he can sell himself as an "outsider".

Anyone who believes this beltway fixture is an "outsider" needs to wake up.

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Avatar for user 'lucasoconnor'

lucasoconnor | August 14, 2012 at 5:16 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

Just to be clear, Bilbray has served 12 total years in Congress, but has not served for the *past* twelve years. He served 1995-2001 before losing to Susan Davis, then spent five years as a lobbyist, Then he went back to Congress in 2006 after Duke Cunningham resigned.

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