Ryan as Romney's VP: Axelrod, GOP leaders spar on Sunday morning talk shows

Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate dominated the discussion on Sunday morning's political talk shows. And the reaction to the choice of Ryan, a tea party favorite, fell along party lines.

"I'm excited for the ticket," former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who was reportedly on Romney's shortlist of VP candidates, told ABC News' "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos. "I'm excited for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan. I didn't support Governor Romney because I expected to be vice president, so I'm not disappointed. I didn't get something I didn't expect, but it's a great ticket, it's a terrific pick by Governor Romney, and Congressman Ryan, as you've already seen, is bringing energy to the ticket, and he's got a clear, specific vision, an adult approach to solving the nation's problems, and you don't see that from the president and his team."

On NBC's "Meet The Press," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called Ryan a "game changing" VP pick. The Wisconsin Congressman, Walker said, has "tremendous appeal to swing voters and independent voters."

[Also read: How Romney picked Ryan for his VP and kept it a secret]

"Paul Ryan represents the kind of leadership that people in this country are hungry for," Republican Sen. John Thune (S.D.) said on CNN's "State of the Union With Candy Crowley" on Sunday. "His efforts to not only define the issues that we need to face as we get into the days and the weeks and the months and the years ahead, but also to come up with solutions to those issues, is something that I think that will serve as a great asset to Governor Romney and the campaign."

"In making this pick, [Romney] has said, 'I'm going to take the game to my opponent,'" Thune continued. "'I'm not going to sit back and just run the clock out and hold the ball.' I think he's made it very clear that this is going to be a campaign about big issues and about a very different vision, contrasting vision for the future of this country."

On "Fox News Sunday," Sen. John McCain called  Ryan an "excellent choice" and a "new generation of leadership in our party and nation."

David Axelrod, senior advisor to the Obama campaign, appeared on ABC, NBC and CNN to curb the GOP enthusiasm.

"It is a pick that is meant to thrill the most strident voices in the Republican Party," Axelrod told Stephanopoulos. "But it's one that should trouble everybody else, the middle class, seniors, students, because of Ryan's record.  I mean, he is a right-wing ideologue, the intellectual energy behind the Republican caucus there in Congress.  He constructed a budget that, like Romney, would lavish trillions of dollars of tax cuts, most of them on the wealthy, would raise the burden on the middle class, would cut back things deeply like student loans, and research and development, and things we need to grow the economy."

What does President Obama think of him?

"I think that he thinks that he is a perfectly genial and bright guy," Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union With Candy Crowley." "He just thinks his theory is wrong. I mean, Congressman Ryan is a right-wing ideologue, and that is reflected in the positions that he's taken."

[Related: After Sunday, Romney and Ryan won't appear together until the convention]

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