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A Floridian's take on Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate

9:34 PM, Aug 12, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate Saturday, Floridians like Dr. Steve Baker took note.

"Ryan adds a lot more excitement to the ticket," Baker commented.

Dr. Baker has lived in Florida and has been a Political Science professor at Jacksonville University since 1985. He said Floridians may be a little disappointed that Congressman Marco Rubio of Florida was not tapped.

"It was a tantalizing prospect to get a presidential or a vice presidential candidate from Florida," Baker said. "We have come close many times, but never had one."

Baker believes adding Ryan to the Republican ticket will make Medicare a big issue in the campaign.

Ryan proposed replacing Medicare with a voucher system. While the plan has been tweaked, Florida's aging population will most likely zero in on Medicare.

"I think it's an issue that needs to be addressed [in the campaign]. It will go into effect down the road. Those currently covered by Medicare would remain under the system and I'm sure they would point that out," Baker noted.

The campaign trail will take Romney and Ryan to St. Augustine Monday, and Baker believes Florida is the most important of the swing states

"Both camps will use any opportunity they can to enhance their support here."

He said Florida is a state which could go "either way in the election."

First Coast News

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