The Washington Times - August 11, 2012, 12:56PM

The top leaders of the U.S. Senate reacted today to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said,

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“By picking Representative Paul Ryan, Governor  Romney has doubled down on his commitment to gut Social Security and end Medicare as we know it. Romney’s choice demonstrates that catering to the Tea Party and the far-right is more important to him that standing up for the middle class. 

“The months ahead will provide Americans with a clear choice between the Romney-Ryan plan to gut Social Security and Medicare, and Democrats’ balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines smart spending cuts with asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. Democrats in the Senate look forward to engaging in that debate.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said, 

“Gov. Romney showed today that he is determined to confront a host of growing crises that President Obama has ignored. Where the current President has simply refused to act, Gov. Romney has now pledged to lead. Paul Ryan is an excellent choice, and a confirmation that Gov. Romney is serious about strengthening America’s economic future, tackling the deficits and debt that have skyrocketed under President Obama, and returning to a path to solvency and security.

“Americans are looking for leadership that has been lacking on the most critical issues facing our country’s economic future. The Romney-Ryan team can return much-needed leadership from day one and help bring real recovery to our economy, reverse the damage of the Obama economy, and take a serious approach to the Obama debt and focus on growing jobs—not the size of the government.

“President Obama’s term has been marked by overwhelming national debt, a first-ever downgrade of America’s credit rating, high unemployment and a disappointing lack of leadership when it comes to addressing spending. It’s time to change that, and Gov. Romney and Chairman Ryan will be ready on day one to give America the leadership it deserves.”