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News Link • Politics: Republican Campaigns

Paul Ryan, Medicare, And The New Shape Of The White House Race...

•, Grace Wyler
 The Wisconsin Congressman made his debut in Virginia Saturday morning, giving an impassioned and articulate speech that laid out the new message of the Romney campaign: "It doesn't have to be this way."

Nearly everyone agrees that the pick was a bold move from the typically risk-averse Romney, and conservatives finally appear to be coalescing behind their ticket. Ryan, the architect of GOP's debt-slashing budget, has long been a darling of the conservative intelligentsia, and there is a general hope that his entry into the race will shift the conversation away from tax returns and Bain Capital to ideological principles.

Liberals are just as excited about Romney's choice. Democrats had already planned on trying to make the 2012 election about Ryan's budget proposals, and the addition of Ryan to the ballot opens up a fresh opportunity to ramp up this line of attack against Republicans down the ticket. So far, the Obama campaign has led the assault against the Republican V.P. candidate, with senior strategist David Axelrod accusing Ryan of being a "right-wing ideologue" who wants to destroy Medicare.

And now that the initial flush of excitement about Ryan has died down, the knives are starting to come out to cut away the seven-term congressman's record, in particular his plan to overhaul Medicare. Romney is already trying to distance himself from Ryan's budget, but there is no way Democrats will let him get off that easy.

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