Last week we learned that the Mitt Romney who shows up to debate is quite good at hiding the Mitt Romney who is running for president. And we can assume that the Paul Ryan who shows up to debate tonight will do his best to hide some of his most extreme positions.
Ryan often points out that he joined the Mitt Romney ticket and supports Romney’s policies. You can bet that will be his chief defense tonight if the vice president tries to hold him accountable for the two budgets he wrote and were passed by the Tea Partiers in the House. These budgets slash government spending on nearly anything that helps working families while cutting taxes on the rich and turning Medicare and Social Security into shadows of themselves.
The fact is Romney has adopted most of Ryan’s positions because Ryan’s positions have become the GOP’s positions. All the party wants—as Grover Norquist stated—is a president to sign what they’ve already passed.
So make no mistake, Paul Ryan—the man you’ll see on stage debating Joe Biden—is the “intellectual leader” of the Republican Party. He just can’t admit that right now.
Here are 5 other things you won’t hear Paul Ryan say during the debate.
In Congress, Paul Ryan worked with allies like Todd Akin (R-MO) on legislation that would redefine rape. After Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” made national news, Ryan said “rape is rape,” but also said he was proud of his pro-life record in Congress, which includes the effort to have rape redefined. But you can be sure the words “forcible rape” won’t come out of his mouth tonight.
“Stimulus Creates Jobs And Helps The Unemployed.”
Congressman Ryan supported the stimulus when President Bush was in office and even sought stimulus funds for his district in 2009. But he now pretends that the mere idea of a stimulus is offensive to his very being. Ryan is a perfect example of a Republican who voted to run up the debt but blamed President Obama as soon as it came time to pay the bills.
“Slowing The Medicare Growth Rate Isn’t A Cut”
Mitt Romney has been blasting the president for the $716 billion in savings Obamacare found in Medicare. The problem is Ryan also included those savings in his budget. In addition, he’s on record saying slowing spending without cutting benefits isn’t really a cut. Don’t expect him to admit that tonight, though.
“We’re Living In An Ayn Rand Novel”
Many liberals were confused when Republicans began trumping the name Ayn Rand as if she were a member of the Christian conservative movement she despised. The libertarian thought that says any collective action is evil rose out of Rand’s objectivist movement and somehow merged with the care-for-all mentality of Christianity. Rand—for instance—hated Ronald Reagan, calling him “a conservative in the worst sense of that word.” Paul Ryan was one of the forerunners of merging these two vastly different philosophies. As he began to be groomed for his role in national politics, he backed away from Rand’s philosophies. But the legacy lives on in his draconian budgets.
“Medicare And Social Security Are Socialist-Based Systems”
In a 2005 speech to the Ayn Rand-loving Atlas Society, Paul Ryan trashed Social Security and Medicare as “Socialist-based” systems. His antipathy for the programs led him to support privatizing Social Security in 2005 and in his first Ryan Budget. He also called for a complete privatization of Medicare in that same budget. He has since evolved that to a privatization of Medicare with a public option. Ryan’s barely contained antipathy for two of America’s most beloved programs has forced him to argue constantly that he’s trying to “save” them. What he really wants to do is “save” America from providing the meager safety net—which he often calls a “hammock”—that we currently offer. But this is something he will never admit on stage in front of America. Winning is the priority now. The cuts can wait.