As expected, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan endorsed Mitt Romney this morning, making the announcement in an appearance on Fox and Friends.
The timing of his decision coincides with the recent end of Ryan’s stint as chairman of the Republican National Committee presidential trust, “which made it difficult for him to pick a horse in the 2012 election,” according to Political Ticker.
As AP wrote last night, Ryan’s endorsement is yet another signal — especially following Marco Rubio’s like endorsement — that GOP leaders and Tea Party darlings alike have decided to coalesce around Mitt Romney — and that it can now “kinda sorta” be considered “conservative” to vote for Mitt Romney. Ryan, whose budget proposal just passed the House yesterday by a vote of 228 to 191, is known as a bold legislator whose twin priorities of economic growth and entitlement reform very well could be the key to turning the country’s fiscal outlook around. Ryan is also popular in his home state, where Romney already has a sizable lead in the polls.
Yet, in the general election, a Ryan endorsement could actually be a liability of sorts. Democrats are notoriously apt to demagogue Ryan’s budget, commonly reciting the claim that it would “end Medicare as we know it.” Never mind that simple math will end Medicare as we know it if Congress takes no step to reform the broken program! In fact, the Democratic National Committee has already released an ad that mocks the supposed “bromance” between Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Among the many misleading lyrics, this shameless line appears in the ad: “When they meet to prepare / ways to end Medicare / that’s amoré.” With Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the helm of the DNC, though, I’d expect nothing less ridiculous.
Whatever Democrats say, though, Mitt Romney’s embrace of the Paul Ryan budget is a positive for the country, as it means the frontrunner is committed to speak out about the vital importance of spending cuts and entitlement reform to America’s fiscal future. Ryan’s endorsement should only make it easier for Mitt Romney to risk Democratic demonization for the sake of supporting the most substantive budget proposal to pass the House this year — and to convince the American people in the process that Washington has not been telling them the facts about entitlements. As Paul Ryan has proved, the trump card in this political debate is the truth.
In the end, though, the easiest rebuttal to Democrats’ constant criticisms might just be a simple question: Where’s their plan?