Romney's VP pick likes Canada but not our health care system
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate in the upcoming presidential election, knows his Canada.
Or at least he knows he likes our oil and he's jealous of Canada's 15% corporate tax rate.
But the cheesehead doesn't like Canada's health care system, which the eight-term Wisconsin congressman reportedly called "old, unreliable and obsolete" during the Obamacare health care debates here in 2009.
He argued Canadians travelled to the U.S. for private treatment whenever possible, and that Canadian wait times for necessary procedures sometimes spanned months.
"Has the Obama administration explained to Americans the facts about Canada's model of government health care? Is this the kind of national health service the U.S. should imitate?" Ryan wrote in a 2009 article in the American Spectator magazine.
But in a speech this past April, Ryan was full of praise for Canada's corporate tax rate -- which has been steadily lowered to 15% from 29% in 2000 -- and said that such a low rate in Canada was making the U.S. uncompetitive globally, with its relatively high rate of taxation on businesses.
"How on Earth are our businesses going to be able to compete with the Canadians -- or the Irish at 12.5%?" he asked.
Like all Republicans, Ryan is also a supporter of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would ship 700,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta's oilsands to refineries in the southern United States.
In January, President Barack Obama halted the project to allow more time for reviews, but critics including Ryan blasted the move as political, to appease environmentalists in the Democratic party.
Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who announced Ryan as his vice-presidential candidate Saturday in Virginia, is no stranger himself to America's northern neighbour. His family owns a cottage in Southern Ontario, on Lake Huron, where the former Massachusetts governor spent time growing up.
In fact, it was a 1983 road trip to the cottage that got Romney in trouble when he started his run for the presidency nearly five years ago: It was widely reported that he packed his Irish setter Seamus into a crate that he strapped to the roof of the station wagon for the trip, and the pooch got sick -- all down the windshield of the car.
Romney, who headed the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics, knows a little French, too.