Political consultant Karl Rove says Rep. Paul Ryan's selection as Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate has finally turned the campaign into an election about "big ideas" that clearly define the differences with President Barack Obama.
"It makes it about big ideas," Rove told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly Monday evening, adding that Ryan would help Romney make the case that "we've got to put our fiscal house in order to control spending and do something about these terrible entitlement promises that we've made to people that we ultimately will not be able to keep."
Rove stressed that if Obama continues the negative attacks on the Republican ticket as rich and out of touch with middle-class Americans instead of presenting his own plan to deal with the growing debt and entitlements, he'll lose.
"I think if that's the content of the campaign, particularly from the Obama side, it isn't going to work," added Rove. "I mean, people know that the country is in grave difficulty. They know our economy is hurting."
Rove, who ran former President George W. Bush's campaigns, said Ryan's addition to the ticket indicates that Romney is "going to make this about big ideas and about tackling the deficit and controlling spending. And he's going to be . . . aggressive in defending conservative reform ideas."
"And that's going to be important," he added, to help keep Republican voters and attract undecided independents in swing states.
He said Ryan has already proven his appeal to independents and blue collar Democrats in his own Wisconsin Democratic-leaning district, where he has been re-elected seven times.
"How does he do that?" Rove asked. "By taking these complex ideas [on budget and entitlement issues] and explaining them in a way that people can get their hands around."
Rove said he believes Ryan could help Romney win Wisconsin, which Obama took by a big margin in 2008, and make a big impact in the industrial Midwest, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Rove suggested voters are not that different from Ryan's own constituents.
Rove also noted that Ryan's selection represents only the second time that a Catholic has been placed on the Republican presidential ticket, a fact that could help pick up votes in a strongly Catholic toss-up state like Iowa.
In addition, Rove said he expects younger voters in the keys states of Virginia, Colorado. and North Carolina will be attracted to Ryan as well.
A tougher state, however, could be Florida, where Ryan campaigns on his own this weekend. Rove said how Ryan "handles the issue of Medicare and Social Security" with that states big senior population could be the "key" in determining which way voters there go on Election Day.
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