Though better known for his austere budget proposals, Paul Ryan shares Mitt Romney’s faith in American exceptionalism and is an unrepentant proponent of aggressive U.S. military intervention abroad.
The now defunct Empower America, where Ryan once served as a speechwriter working for the likes of William Bennett and Jack Kemp, advocated right-wing economic policies and launched the pro-war advocacy group Americans for Victory over Terrorism in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
A former congressman and standout NFL quarterback who passed away in May 2009, Kemp has been credited with helping shape the modern Republican Party, pushing it to adopt a plank of rightist social policies as well as an interventionist overseas military agenda. Kemp was also an early mentor of Paul Ryan, who worked with Kemp at Empower America and during the failed Dole-Kemp presidential campaign in 1996.
Regarded as the leading public face of contemporary neoconservatism, Kristol used his various media perches—including the pages of his Weekly Standard magazine—to vigorously promote Paul Ryan as VP, a fact that might give Romney pause given Kristol’s previous role as a leading Sarah Palin booster.
A right-wing Christian and governor of Kansas, Brownback previously served in the U.S. Senate, where he gained a reputation as a leading social conservative as well as an outspoken “pro-Israel” hawk on U.S. Middle East policy. In the mid-1990s, Ryan served as a legislative aide to Brownback.
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