Why Ryan Could Make a Romney Victory Harder
From the National Journal
"Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate could deepen the intrinsic tension between the Republican policy agenda and the voters it relies on to win elections."
"Ryan's ambitious budget blueprint, as passed twice by House Republicans over the past two years, crystallizes the GOP's highest policy priority: shrinking the size of the federal government, largely by dramatically restructuring entitlement programs led by Medicare and Medicaid. But the GOP today is increasingly dependent on the votes of older and blue-collar whites who -- while eager to scale back government programs that transfer income to the poor -- are much more resistant to retrenching entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security that largely benefit the middle-class."
Rep. Paul Ryan, the architect of the budget plan "that makes big changes to Medicare and Medicaid and could allow for some privatization of Social Security," could hurt the GOP presidential ticket in Florida, the Miami Herald reports. "Ryan might have another Florida problem: He once opposed the U.S. embargo on Cuba, a now-reversed stance that concerns some in Miami-Dade's exile community, which is overwhelmingly Republican and had hoped that one of its own, Sen. Marco Rubio, would have been picked as Romney's running mate. The county's elderly Cuban population also relies heavily on government assistance, particularly Medicare." Maggie Haberman: "It appears as Ryan's appearance in the state alongside Romney, planned for tomorrow, was redirected to Iowa." Daily Beast: Be afraid seniors. How the Ryan pick changes the campaign.
"Already, there is a curious bit of conventional wisdom taking hold that Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan is shrewd because it will draw attention from Romney's ever-more apparent weaknesses, notably the more rapacious elements of his work at Bain Capital and his undisclosed tax returns. Sorry, but this makes no sense. It seems hard to imagine a running mate who would jibe better with the Democrats' Bain Capital attacks than a well-born Ayn Rand acolyte. More crucially, it is hard to imagine a running mate who will draw more attention to the matter of Romney's taxes than Paul Ryan. Why? Because under the 'Ryan plan' that made the congressman famous, Mitt Romney would pay zero taxes." "Don't believe it? Romney himself said so, just a few months ago." Matthew Ryan: "Under Paul Ryan's plan, Mitt Romney wouldn't pay any taxes for the next ten years -- or any of the years after that. Now, do I know that that's true. Yes, I'm certain."