Political watchers debate if Romney should embrace Ryan budget

On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, claimed that Romney is “running on his own version of those ideas” proposed in the Ryan budget plan, which recommends tax cuts, $5 trillion in reduced spending, and transitioning Medicare to a voucher program.

Lowry was hammered by liberal television host Rachel Maddow over his claims that Romney planned to repeal President Obama’s signature healthcare reform package, including $700 billion in cuts to Medicare.

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Maddow claimed Romney’s plan contradicted the Ryan budget, which proposes keeping the Obama cuts to Medicare in place.

“That’s amazing, we’re going to have Romney vs. Ryan on Medicare,” she said. “That’s going to be awkward.”

Maddow also accused the Ryan plan of having hints of “voodoo economics,” with vague proposals regarding tax loopholes.

“It doesn’t have very many numbers in it,” she said, but was quickly shot down by Lowry.

“It’s not a tax cut, it’s designed to be revenue neutral,” he responded.

Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod on Sunday claimed that the Ryan selection would help swing voters in favor of the president’s reelection and he sought to link Romney to Ryan’s plans.

Calling the Ryan budget “right-wing social engineering,” Axelrod said the GOP ticket were “kindred spirtis” and that Romney shared his running mate’s “extreme” views. 

“I think that it clarifies the choice for the American people . . . and in a way that is going to be helpful,” he concluded.