David Axelrod, chief strategist for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, called newly named vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan “a right-wing ideologue” and said the congressman’s selection is aimed squarely at the tea party.
Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced on Saturday that the 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman would be his running mate.
“It is a pick that is meant to thrill the most strident voices in the Republican Party, but it’s one that should trouble everybody else — the middle class, seniors, students — because of Ryan’s record,” Axelrod said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “He is a right-wing ideologue.”
Ryan, who’s been criticized for proposing to end traditional Medicare and replace it with a system of vouchers, was not the expected choice by the Obama campaign, Axelrod said.
“They do not believe in Medicare, George,” he said to host George Stephanopoulos. “Let’s be clear. Newt Gingrich called it right-wing social engineering when he [Ryan] surfaced his Medicare plan, and he was right about that.”
Axelrod said Ryan “will help the governor have a more convivial Republican convention” because “he is outside the mainstream.”
“I really didn’t think that Gov. Romney would go so far to satisfy the most strident voices in his party that he would pick someone who is so demonstrably a right-wing ideologue, but, you know, I was wrong about that,” he said.
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