By Ramesh Ponnuru Aug 11 –
The Obama campaign wasted no time blasting Mitt Romney’s selection of Representative Paul Ryan as a running mate.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, had not finished his acceptance speech when President Barack Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, released a statement blasting him for favoring “new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors.” Ryan’s “radical” budget plan, Messina added, “would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health-care costs to seniors.”
Romney could have run away from this fight. Plenty of Republicans have been telling him not to distract voters from their unhappiness about the economy by presenting far-reaching plans of his own — and especially not to elevate the issue of Medicare, on which Democrats traditionally have an advantage.
With Ryan’s selection, Romney has rejected this advice. As Messina’s statement shows, this campaign will now be about something big: the future of the welfare state.