Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, has made it to the top tier of Mitt Romney’s potential running mate list, largely by dint of his bold policy proposals.
But those same ideas give some Republicans pause about the wisdom of selecting Ryan, Politico
He offered a thorough budget proposal last year that included cuts for Medicare spending. Virtually all mainstream economists agree that Medicare will have to be curbed at some point to keep the government debt from exploding even further.
But Democrats were able to make political hay out of Ryan’s idea by saying that Republicans want to cut benefits for seniors. So some in the GOP are worried that Ryan could prove to be a political liability as the vice presidential candidate.
Romney has been fairly secretive about whom he will choose, but knowledgeable Republican sources put Ryan at the top of the list along with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Romney and Ryan get along well, with their passion for policy details serving as a bond between them.
Ryan could inject a dose of enthusiasm into Romney supporters, says Oklahoma GOP Rep. Tom Cole, a member of Ryan’s budget panel. “It would excite some people who right now are there for Romney because they’re opposed to another four years of Obama, not because they’re excited about a Romney presidency,” he told Politico.
On the negative side, though, one prominent GOP senator told the news service, “He’s a smart guy who will excite the base but I think the Democrats would seize on this very quickly and make the election about Medicare.”
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