It has been suggested that Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan should make a campaign stop on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Conservatives who objected to the way in which UW officials managed President Obama’s visit last week want Ryan to visit in order to test the commitment of the UW to a genuine “sifting and winnowing” of ideas.
It’s a great idea. Schedule Ryan for a rally on Bascom Hill. Give his campaign the same cooperation that the Obama campaign got. And let’s see how things go for the crown prince of conservatism.
Republicans used to campaign on the UW campus, back in the days when the party was serious about competing for the votes of all Americans — even the 47 percent that Mitt Romney dismisses as a “dependent” class and the 60 percent of citizens whom Ryan decries as “takers versus makers.”
Indeed, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul received an enthusiastic welcome on campus in March. (And Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico who shares many positions with Paul, would undoubtedly draw a crowd.)
So, yes, by all means, Paul Ryan should campaign on campus. And maybe when the Republican vice presidential nominee is done in Madison, he’ll visit Janesville and debate his opponent in the 1st District congressional race: Democrat Rob Zerban.
John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times. email@example.com