At a campaign fundraiser on Sunday, President Obama offered his initial public reaction to the assembled donors — and as much as the Left was claiming that a Paul Ryan VP pick would be a boon for the Democrats (because, “Mediscare!”, and whatnot), I can’t help feeling like this was probably the selection best-suited to really agitate Team Obama. His minions are already rushing to define Paul Ryan as a scary and callous entitlement-slasher, but President Obama and Ryan have butted heads before — and Ryan’s rhetorical style is the perfect antidote to Obama’s populist messaging.
“Just yesterday, my opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of Republicans in Congress. Mr. Paul Ryan,” said Obama at a fundraiser in Chicago, according to a White House pool report. “I want to congratulate Mr. Ryan. I know him, I welcome him to the race.”
But the president made clear he would draw a sharp contrast between his policies and those of the Romney-Ryan ticket.
“He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision but it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with,” said Obama.
Obama criticized the GOP for promoting what he called a “top down” economic system and said those policies were “central to Governor Romney and … central to his running mate.”
I’ve lamented before about President Obama’s tendency to actively distort economic and fiscal terminology (re: “investments” and “top-down economics,” ugh!) to misrepresent the results of both his and his opponents’ policies, which unfortunately seems to work to charm his audiences all too often. But I’ve got some bad news for you, Mr. President — Mitt Romney might sometimes stumble over delivering the free-market message, but au contraire when it comes to Paul Ryan. As Mary Katherine already opined over the weekend, Ryan’s presence in the race is going to force a discussion on the big-picture budgetary and fiscal issues facing our nation, which Team Obama desperately wants to avoid. Tough beans.
The RNC is out with an ad this morning highlighting the dynamism of the new duo, and the energy emanating from the conservative base over the weekend was positively palpable — nervous yet, Team Obama?