Cravaack, Kline sing praises of Paul Ryan

Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken recently appeared at a DFL gathering in Eagan where he stressed the importance of campaign volunteers working hard the last days of the election. Franken, who won office two years ago by 312 votes, said he often tells volunteers that in his case a single phone, a single door knock, has a huge impact. (Photo by T.W. Budig)

Eighth District Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack earlier this fall expressed delight in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s selection of a running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.


He knows Ryan well, Cravaack explained.


Indeed, they worked out together some mornings in Washington.


“Great guy. Super family man,” said Cravaack.


“Just as sharp as they come. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, Paul Ryan is the guy who knows how to get things done,” he said.


“He knows the budget inside out.”


Still, Cravaack was surprised Romney picked Ryan.


That’s because a couple of weeks prior to the selection, Cravaack had asked Ryan what was going on in the vice presidential business.


Ryan related to him, Cravaack explained, that he had told Romney he believed he could accomplish more in Congress than as running mate.


“But he (Ryan) got a call one day,” Cravaack said.


“‘The governor wants to see you.’ And governor (Romney) said, ‘I need you,’” Cravaack said.


Second District Republican Congressman John Kline also recently gave a thumbs up to Romney’s selection.


“I am frankly delighted that Paul Ryan was chosen as his running mate,” Kline said. “I know Paul Ryan really well. He’s in my weekly Bible study. He’s one of my hunting buddies. He’s about the smartest guy in all of Congress.”


On a different subject — the federal budget — Kline made no prediction on the outcome of an expected lame duck session of Congress later this year charged with crafting a budget solution to prevent the budget control meat ax from falling.


The Budget Control Act has the ax waving in the air, threatening to automatically fall.


Lawmakers and pundits speak of a fiscal cliff looming ahead unless a budget solution can be achieved.


Perhaps the image of something less steep — a heck of a ravine, for instance — could be used to describe the budget controls scheduled to kick in.


“I don’t know how much of a cliff you have on January 2nd,” Kline said.


“No, it doesn’t happen literally overnight,” he said of the automatic budget chopping.


“But it happens very, very quickly,” Kline said.


“That’s the pressure to get this done.”


On another matter, 8th District Democratic former Congressman Rick Nolan recently said there seems a divide over how rural and urban people feel about the proposed marriage amendment.


In part, the perceived divide could reflect that in Greater Minnesota the lesbian, gay, bisexual. transgender (LGBT) community is relatively small, Nolan speculated.


Greater Minnesota gays and lesbians often move to the cities, he said.


And acceptance has to do with interaction, Nolan indicated.


“When we talk about LGBT rights, we’re not talking about granting rights to some alien population,” he said.

“We’re talking about our sons, and our daughters, and our nieces, and our nephews, and our neighbors”


“We’re talking about our loved ones. We’re talking about people we care about,” he said.