As Mitt Romney’s campaign was trying to distance itself from his running mate’s proposed budget on Sunday, senior adviser Ed Gillespie admitted that the candidate “would have signed” Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) controversial plan.
After the Republican presidential hopeful on Saturday announced that he had selected Ryan as the vice presidential nominee, CNN obtained a campaign memo that sought to distinguish Romney’s policies from Ryan’s budget proposal.
“Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance,” the memo said.
In a briefing to reporters on Sunday, campaign spokesman Kevin Madden tried to prevent the race from turning into a referendum on Ryan.
“Gov. Romney is at the top of the ticket,” Madden insisted. “And Governor Romney’s vision for the country is something that Congressman Ryan supports.”
But in a Sunday morning appearance on CNN, Gillespie was forced to admit that Romney supported Ryan’s budget and would have signed it into law.
“Well, as Governor Romney has made clear, if the Romney — sorry, if the Ryan budget had come to his desk as president, he would have signed it, of course,” Gillespie told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “And one of the reasons that he chose Congressman Ryan is his willingness to put forward innovative solutions in the budget.”
Meanwhile, Democrats like Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod were calling the Ryan budget a “prescription for economic catastrophe” because it would turn Medicare into a voucher system while giving tax breaks to wealthy Americans.
“This was a guy who rubber stamped every aspect of the Bush economic policy, including not paying for two wars, a Medicare prescription plan, two big tax cuts,” Axelrod told ABC’s David Gregory on Sunday. “And now he wants trillions of dollars of more budget-busting tax cuts skewed to the wealthy.”
“He’s the guy who’s the architect of a plan to end Medicare as we know it and turn it into a voucher program and ship thousands of dollars of costs onto senior citizens,” the senior Obama adviser added on ABC’s This Week. “He’s someone who was the architect of a Social Security privatization scheme that was so out there that even George Bush called it irresponsible, and he believes that we should ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest.”
Watch this video from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast Aug. 12, 2012.
(h/t: Think Progress)