That seems to be the general idea so far, at least. I think they know they can’t nail him on a lack of character/integrity the way they’ve been trying to with Romney, and they don’t seem to want to try (not yet, anyway) — so it looks like they’re going to aggressively insinuate that Ryan is an influential leader in that pesky, do-nothing, obstructionist, hostage-taking Congress of ours.
President Obama started a campaign tour through Iowa today, a swing state heavy with currently drought-stricken farmers. After ceding that he is a ‘good man, a family man, and an articulate spokesman for Romney’s vision,’ Obama reminded the audience that the all-important-to-Iowans farm bill is currently being held up in Congress by none other than the likes of that dastardly ‘ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress,’ Paul Ryan.
“The best way to help these states is for the folks in Congress to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters, but also makes some necessary reforms and gives farmers and ranchers some long-term certainty. Unfortunately right now, too many members of Congress are blocking the farm bill from becoming law. I am told that Governor Romney’s new running mate, Paul Ryan, might be around Iowa the next few days. He is one of the leaders of Congress standing in the way. So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. We’ve got to put politics aside when it comes to doing the right thing for rural America and for Iowa.”
Vice President Joe Biden also hit the campaign trail in North Carolina today on behalf of his boss, and struck just about the same tone:
Vice President Joe Biden said Mitt Romney and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan want to impose the ideas of congressional Republicans on the rest of the U.S., an attempt to tie the Republican rivals for the White House to an institution facing historically low approval ratings. Mr. Biden, in his first public remarks since Mr. Romney picked his running mate, called Mr. Ryan a good and decent man who has given definition to Mr. Romney’s economic ideas.
“They’re running on what the Republican Congress has been promoting for the past four years,” Mr. Biden said while campaigning in Durham, N.C. He said there was no distinction now between the Romney campaign and congressional Republicans.
Mr. Biden said while he thinks the election will be close, “I truly believe that the American people will reject Romney and Ryan for attempting to impose on the American people what the Republican Congress has been preaching.”
According to Gallup, Congress only has about a 16% national approval rating as of July, and the rating has been hovering around historical lows for months now. There are plenty of voters out there who still don’t have much of an idea who Paul Ryan is exactly, so I suppose the logic is that the sooner the Democrats can permanently associate him with the current unpopularity of our legislative branch, the better. Does it matter that Paul Ryan managed to propose a budget that was sensible, honest, and serious to said do-nothing Congress, while President Obama’s budget proposal earlier this year managed to glean approximately zero votes? Nahhh.