Romney doesn’t emphasize overhauling Medicare in his stump speech, either. Creating jobs, getting the economy moving again — those are the points he hits over and over and over. Yes, Romney talks about bringing federal spending under control. But Ryan-like plans to curb entitlement spending? That’s just not something Romney emphasizes.

That would likely change if Romney picks Ryan. Should that happen, the Ryan plan would immediately become a far bigger part of the Romney campaign that it is now — it would, in fact, move to the top of the Romney agenda.

That’s something that unnerves a number of Republicans. They respect Ryan and the work he has done, but they worry that putting him on the presidential ticket would brand the Republican party as the party of austerity at a time when more voters are more concerned about job creation than budget cutting.