In choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate over ‘safer’ picks like Rob Portman and Tim Pawlenty, Romney seemed determined to go bold. Gone was the ‘pale pastel‘ label that Rick Santorum gave him during the primary. In its place would be an agenda that challenged traditional assumptions and didn’t duck the tough issues.
Yet, one convention and three Sunday show appearances later, the Romney/Ryan ticket has yet to embrace the bold. Instead of sowing new fields, they are simply treading familiar GOP territory.
This exchange between “This Week’s” George Stephanopoulos and Ryan over how the Romney plan to pay for tax cuts, is a prime example of how the once-daring Budget Chairman now sounds like just another predictable pol.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Congressman, as you know – — many say it’s difficult – — to accept your word if you’re not going to specify which tax loopholes you’re willing to close. Don’t voters have a right – — to know which loopholes you’re going to go after?
RYAN: So Mitt Romney and I, based on our experience, think the best way to do this is to show the framework, show the outlines of these plans, and then to work with Congress to do this. That’s how you get things done.
The other thing –
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn’t that a – secret plan?
RYAN: — we don’t want to — no, no. No, no. What we don’t want is a secret plan. What we don’t want to do is cut some backroom deal like ObamaCare and then hatchet (ph) to the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But why not specify the — loopholes now? Why not say right now –
RYAN: — because we want to do this –we want to have this — George, because we want to have this debate in the public. We want to have this debate with Congress. And we want to do this with the consent of the elected representatives of the people and figure out what loopholes should stay or go and who should or should not get them. And our priorities are high income earners should not get these kinds of loopholes. And we should have broad-based policies that go to middle class taxpayers to make sure we can advance things that we care about, like charities….
Ryan, the man who has been willing to buck the establishment, now says he doesn’t want to lay out the details of a budget plan without “the consent of the elected representatives”?
To be sure, President Obama has been light on the details of how he’d achieve his second term agenda and quick to lay blame at the feet of a GOP controlled Congress.
But, if the Romney/Ryan promise was to change politics as usual, we’ve yet to see it.
Watch Ryan’s interview on ABC’s ‘This Week’: