5. Guess who supported the auto bailout? Mr. No. 2, that’s who. The Obama campaign has hammered Romney for suggesting that Detroit and parts suppliers — scattered across the industrialized Midwest, including Wisconsin — should have been forced into a structured bankruptcy that would have allowed them to re-organize. Ryan backed Obama, citing looming factory layoffs in his district. That makes a sore point for Romney even sorer.
6. Guess who doesn’t like Romneycare? In an interview with C-SPAN two years ago, Ryan was asked whether he liked the Massachusetts health care mandate, passed by his new boss. “No — not, well — actually, I’m not a fan of the system. … Costs are getting out of control, premiums are increasing in Massachusetts, and now you have a bureaucracy that is having to put all these cost controls, and rationing on the system.” What’s the first question Ryan will be asked in a vice presidential debate?
This will be harder for Democrats to exploit simply because Romney’s public position, more or less, is in line with Ryan’s — he doesn’t like mandates now either. But it’s one more reason why the GOP ticket won’t be able to use Obamacare as much as they otherwise might — the most unpopular big ticket item of Obama’s presidency in the fall.
7. He widens the gender gap. This is one Ryan factor that has gotten precious little scrutiny. He is anti-abortion rights, but hasn’t been in-your-face about it — and wasn’t at the head of the line, bashing Planned Parenthood, which has a long history in his home state. But he voted, along with almost all of his GOP colleagues in the House, against Obama’s Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — and that will almost certainly be used against the GOP ticket.