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This is funny ... Bob Schieffer asks Mitt Romney whether he just made this election a referendum on Paul Ryan's budget ... and Romney responds by pretty much pretending that he's never even heard of the Ryan plan.

Bob Schieffer: There's no question your campaign has been trying to make this election a referendum on Barack Obama. Now, some people are saying you are making it a referendum on Paul Ryan's budget plan.

Mitt Romney: Well, I have my budget plan as you know that I've put out. And that's the budget plan that we're going to run on.

That Romney would seek to distance himself from the Ryan budget is the weirdest part of his decision to pick Ryan. If he wanted to disown Ryan, then why pick him? Yet as soon as Romney announced the pick, the campaign put out talking points saying the Ryan budget is not the Romney budget even though Romney has said he would have signed it into law. (Ignore, for a moment, the fact that presidents don't sign budgets into law. Romney apparently believed that they did, and said he would have signed Ryan's. And just yesterday, one of his top aides said the same thing.)

Amazingly, it turns out that the budget plan proposed by Mitt Romney is even more extreme than Paul Ryan's—at least at the macro level. Romney's plan calls for steeper overall spending cuts than does Ryan, his plan has even less detail than Ryan's about what would be cut. Presumably, Romney's bet was that it's better, politically speaking, to leave the specifics of what would be cut up to the imagination of people reading his plan. Less details would mean less for him to defend. But now he's picked Ryan, and with that pick he's taking on all the baggage that comes with Ryan's specific spending cuts.

And the fact that Romney was still trying to distance himself from that baggage 24 hours after selecting Ryan illustrates what an ill-conceived nomination this was.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 07:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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