While the media and Team Obama are playing up differences between Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan over their economic plans, key conservatives associated with both tell Secrets that Ryan's House-approved budget is becoming the blueprint for what Romney would do if elected.
"Picking Ryan as vice president outlines the future of the next four or eight years of a Romney administration," said conservative leader Grover Norquist, president of the influential Americans for Tax Reform. With the plan, he added, "You have a real sense of where Romney's going."
While Romney has put out his own economic plans, Ryan's is more detailed and has also been approved by the House and Senate Republicans, making it the more serious--and real--roadmap for conservatives. And, they added, by choosing Ryan, Romney was signaling that he means to implement the gist of Ryan's idea, such as block granting welfare programs, changing Medicare and saving the pension system.
In an interview, Norquist sounded high on how the Ryan plan will influence the election and Romney. He described how many remain unclear about what Romney would do or achieve as president because he didn't have a good chance to influence Massachusetts much when he was governor because the legislature was controlled by Democrats.
"He was the goalie, and the other team took shots on goal all day. And he never got to play offense. So what would Romney do if he had a legislature that supported him? You can imagine it, but you don't know it from his history because he never had anything that even looked like that," said Norquist. "But Ryan has outlined a plan that has support in the Republican House and Senate. It is the outline for the Romney Ryan reform for government."
Also, he said, the Ryan plan presents a bold contrast to Obama who hasn't written up his action agenda for the next four years. "It also throws a flair to the blank empty spot, which is what will Obama do?" said Norquist. "He has to have some new vision thing, hopey changing doesn't work the second time around. Ok, what is it?"