The inconvenient truth about this year’s Republican ticket is that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan disagree.
The substantive differences between Romney and Ryan on issues ranging from tax policy to entitlement reform to reproductive rights are jarring. And they provide the outline that Vice President Joe Biden would be wise to focus on as he debates Ryan tonight.
Biden goes into this critical debate looking not just for Ryan’s soft spots—of which there are many—but also for ways in which to slow whatever momentum the Republican ticket gained after Mitt Romney turned in a stronger than expected performance in last week’s presidential debate.
It’s possible to do both by noting the many, many areas where Ryan and Romney—at least the version of Romney that’s currently on the campaign trail—are in stark disagreement.
Last week, Ryan appeared on Fox News with Chris Wallace, who asked, &rldquo;What’s more important to Romney? Would he scale back on the 20 percent tax cut for the wealthy? Would he scale back and say, OK, you know, we’re going to have to raise taxes for the middle class? I guess the question is what’s most important to him in his tax reform plan?”
RYAN: Keeping tax rates down. By lowering tax rates, people keep more of the next dollar that they earn. That matters…
WALLACE: So that’s more important than…
RYAN: That’s more important than anything.
Cutting taxes for the rich is “more important than anything.”
More important than creating jobs.
More important than renewing manufacturing.
More important than maintaining Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
More important that reducing deficits.
More important than addressing debts.
“More important than anything.”
That’s where Romney-Ryan stand.
No, not so right.
At least, not according to Mitt Romney tell it in the debate on Wednesday.
When the subject of tax cuts for the rich came up, Romney announced: “I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people…”
Hold it: Isn’t cutting those taxes “more important than anything”?
Not according to Mitt. In fact, he says he’s not that into tax cuts.
“I’m not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the—the revenues going to the government,” Romney said during the first presidential debate. “My—my number-one principle is there’ll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit.”