The Obama campaign is branding the Romney-Ryan ticket as "The Go Back Team," launching a new website and digital video to portray the newly-minted Republican VP nominee as a "severely conservative" figure who wants to return to "failed" economic policies.
The focus is entirely on Rep. Paul Ryan's controversial budget plan, which Mitt Romney has praised and which Democrats have long believed is radioactive among key constituencies given its proposed changes to entitlement programs, including Medicare.
Democrats say what makes Ryan's plan a "sham" is that it would cut services and benefits aimed at the poor and middle class while giving the wealthiest Americans new tax breaks instead. The Obama campaign calls the approach "Romney Hood," the reverse of Robin Hood.
Anticipating the attacks, the Romney campaign earlier today circulated to its supporter talking points that accuse President Obama of running a "fear and smear campaign." But that memo also makes clear Romney will put forward his own budget plan and not endorse wholesale Ryan's. It also points to differences between Romney and Ryan on issues like Medicare.
"We are happy to compare our understanding and knowledge with President Obama's failed record on jobs and financial control any day," the internal Romney campaign document says. "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have proven records of solving problems, compared to this Administration's failed record."
Here, in their words, is what the Obama campaign says "you need to know" about Paul Ryan:
1. Paul Ryan's top-down budget plan is a sham
Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney both support trillions in budget-busting tax cuts for millionaires that will result in tax hikes on the middle class and deep cuts in education and other investments we need to grow. Ryan's extreme budget plan, which Mitt Romney has embraced, would make deep spending cuts now to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, which would weaken the recovery and cost the economy jobs.
2. Paul Ryan's plan would raise taxes on the middle class and cut taxes for the wealthy
Ryan's extreme budget plan would benefit the wealthy while raising taxes on middle-class families, slowing our economic recovery and hurting seniors and the middle class.
3. Paul Ryan's plan would gut middle-class investments
To pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest, Paul Ryan would gut investments critical to middle-class security.
4. Paul Ryan's plan would end Medicare as we know it
Paul Ryan's extreme budget would end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program which would increase seniors' health costs by $6,350 a year. Ryan has also proposed a plan that would have privatized Social Security, subjecting seniors' retirement security to the whims of the stock market.
5. Paul Ryan is severely conservative
Like Mitt Romney, Ryan's severely conservative positions are out of touch with most Americans' values. He would take us backward on women's health and equal rights.