Monday, August 13, 2012
Gotcha Morning | What's in the Romney/Ryan Budget?
Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin is so synonymous with his Roadmap for America's Future that his picture appears on its official government website. When Mitt Romney chose to pick Ryan as his running mate, he sent a clear signal to the Republican and Tea Party base that he was endorsing the ideological principles in the Ryan budget. In the few days since Romney made the pick official in Virginia, he's been trying to quietly distance himself from his running mate's fiscal philosophies. Meanwhile, the Democrats are doing everything they can to show the American people how radical those philosophies are. It started with the Obama campaign's hastily assembled (or ready in reserve) attack ad on Paul Ryan along with a website dedicated to the "Go Back Team." The assault continued on the Sunday morning political talk shows. David Axelrod on CNN's State of the Union and Stephanie Cutter on CBS' Face The Nation set out to define Ryan through his budget and other "extreme" social views. They also didn't hesitate to add how low Mitt Romney's personal taxes would be under Paul Ryan's plan. President Obama got in on the act as well on the campaign trail, "welcoming" Paul Ryan to the race while labeling him the "ideological leader" of the GOP Congress. Mitt Romney has been notoriously vague about his own prescriptions for lowering the deficit, preferring to outline the taxes he would cut without saying how he would make up the revenue or reduce spending. By picking one of the only members of Congress who has been willing to outline the programs he would cut (including Medicare, education, transportation and a host of other social services) he is effectively endorsing those specifics. Either that or he only wants Paul Ryan for his strong head of hair and genial smile. During the first joint interview of the new running mates on 60 Minutes last night, Romney simply said that they would be running on his budget plan, not Ryan's. But in the minds of most informed Americans, Paul Ryan is the Ryan budget, and the Obama campaign will be informing as many people as possible between now and November. Follow @TheMattWilstein