The Medicare debate is historically an issue that both parties have steered away from. People over the age of 65 are eligible to receive Medical and have typically fought hard to keep it that way, and the options for changing Medicare don't poll very well.
The Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul pushed by Obama, cuts $700 billion in Medicare spending through curtailed payments to medical providers. Republicans campaigning in 2010 and 2012 have used that provision to attack Obama.
Ryan himself has directly accused Democrats, even Obama, of trying to scare senior citizens who often rely on Medicare.
"Now, you're going to hear from Democrats to push grandma over the cliff, all that. They have not had a plan yet to save Social Security and Medicare, and they've had nearly four years to do it," Sen. John McCain said on "Fox News Sunday." "Paul Ryan has taken the courageous steps to bring this issue to the forefront. And we're going to have to address it."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Ryan's big ideas on how to rein in the budget will appeal to independent voters hungry for big ideas while at the same time rallying a base that has long been concerned about the deficit.
And he can help deliver Wisconsin, according to Walker.
"On one hand he has a tremendous way to inspire and pump up the base, you'll see that going into the convention," Walker said. "But at the same time -- and we've seen it for years here in Wisconsin -- he has tremendous appeal to swing voters and independent voters in states like Wisconsin that are battleground states because he's smart and he's bold, but he listens. And he relates well to voters all across the political spectrum."