Ryan told me, “Look at what he put out! This is a great development. It shows that the elusive adult conversation is taking place, but all on one side.” He ticked off the proposals including block-granting, cutting the federal workforce and entitlement reform. He said, “This tracks perfectly with the House budget.” He was careful not to forget the other GOP candidates, adding that “Romney and others are serious” about real fiscal reform.

I asked him about Romney’s decision to offer traditional Medicare as one option in the premium support plan. He said that he and former Fed vice chairwoman Alice Rivlin had discussed that idea, and so long as the government, as Romney detailed, would provide a capped amount to be used either for traditional Medicare or for private plans, the same cost savings could be obtained under Romney’s plan as under the plan Ryan proposed as part of the 2012 budget. Ryan deemed this approach as “perfectly in keeping with serious reform.”