A post by my colleague Tim Carney this morning reminds me of this 2008 column penned by our former boss Robert Novak chiding Sen. John McCain for ignoring Paul Ryan’s budget plan during his presidential campaign. Novak believed that Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” was the future of the Republican party.
Ryan, Novak wrote, gave his plan to McCain during a private meeting with the senator while on the campaign trail in Wisconsin, who punted it to his economic advisers for the campaign.
“That was truly ominous,” Novak wrote. “If the Kemp-Roth tax cut had been handed over to economists three decades ago, it likely would have died in its crib and aborted the national and Republican revival under President Ronald Reagan.”
Novak noted that McCain was “famously uninterested in economics” and blasted leadership Republicans for lacking the political courage and foresight to embrace Ryan’s plan.
“Actually, to embrace Ryan’s Roadmap requires more political insight than courage,” he wrote, noting that Ryan plan would appeal to Reagan Democrats. “Ryan was met with enthusiastic approval at some 35 town meetings in his southern Wisconsin industrial district, where he unveiled his plan over the last two months.”
It’s safe to say that Novak would have been pleased with Mitt Romney’s decision to put Ryan on his ticket, although he was famously pessimistic about the Republican party.
Saturday was the third anniversary of Novak’s death.