Here's a passage directly from the Romney talking points:
Questions and Answers About The Romney/Ryan Ticket:That's absolute craziness right there. I mean, Romney has already gotten behind the Ryan plan. Now he's picked him as his VP candidate. And yet he's trying to put off saying what his fiscal plan would be? That statement literally says Romney won't reveal his plan until he's president. That's a whacky enough idea on its own ... but he already has put his ideas out there. And his ideas are Paul Ryan's ideas!
1) Does this mean Mitt Romney is adopting the Paul Ryan plan?
· 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.
There's no chance they will get away with this, though. The Obama campaign is not about to let people forget that Romney has spent the entire campaign raving about Ryan's plan and attacking people like Newt Gingrich who questioned it ... and now he's named Ryan to his ticket. They can't distance themselves from Ryan and it's crazy to try.
7:38 AM PT: Here's another passage from the same document, again trying to create space between Romney and his pick for VP:
2) Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have different views on some policy areas – like Medicare spending, entitlement reform, labor, etc. – do you think those differences are going to hurt or help?This is such a weird—and defensive—communications strategy. I have no idea what they are thinking. I mean, if they're afraid of Paul Ryan ... why did they pick him?
· Of course they aren’t going to have the same view on every issue. But they both share the view that this election is a choice about two fundamentally different paths for this country.
7:44 AM PT: Here's a possible explanation. Maybe Romney would rather talk about why he's retroactively distancing himself from Ryan than why he retroactively retired from Bain. And maybe Romney would rather talk about why he's got a secret fiscal plan than talk about his secret tax returns. Could that be it?
7:48 AM PT: Hey, and since turnabout is fairplay, Armando just pointed out that it'll be interesting to see if Ryan simultaneously seeks his old seat in the House along with being on Romney's ticket. If so, it'll be every bit as ringing an endorsement of Romney as Romney's talking points are of Ryan's plan. Such weirdness.
7:52 AM PT: Those talking points—the ones in which Romney distances himself from Ryan—shed light on why this was a Friday night news dump and a Saturday morning announcement. Yes, I know Biden got picked on a Saturday too, but that was two days before the convention. This pick, like Kerry's pick of John Edwards, is more than two weeks before the convention. Doing it on a Saturday, when the Olympics are still going on, virtually guarantees the smallest splash possible. Maybe Romneyland didn't realize that, but it sure seems like they are not seeking to maximize coverage here.
7:58 AM PT (kos):
8:03 AM PT (kos):