By Justin Sink - 03/01/12 05:17 PM EST
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Mitt Romney was "well-poised" to secure the Republican nomination after his wins in Michigan and Arizona on Tuesday and said a strong Super Tuesday showing could sew up the nomination.
"He got two big wins just the other day. He definitely has the wind behind his back going into Super Tuesday. If he does really well on Super Tuesday, to me it looks like he is well on his way to the nomination,” said Ryan on Bloomberg TV on Thursday.
Ryan said the Romney campaign’s organizational depth would give them the edge in the 10-state Super Tuesday contest.
"Super Tuesday is multiple states; a big organization pays off in multiple states,” he said. “The candidate who has good organization usually does really well. He's well-poised for that, I think."
Ryan also complimented Romney's economic plan. The congressman's stamp of approval has been important for Republicans since he earned praise last year for his ambitious budget — which would dramatically change Medicare— from strong conservatives.
"Very credible. They are talking about entitlement reform. They are putting specifics on the table on Medicare and Social Security reform. The president, knowing that these are the big drivers of our debt, is ducking it," Ryan said of Romney’s proposals.
And while Ryan called Santorum's plan "credible, specific [and] serious," he said the former senator's proposal of eliminating a tax on manufacturers was not an idea he would have suggested.
"It's not from my playbook. I think we should have lower rates for everybody. Broader-based, stop picking winners and losers, stop doing special preferences and treatments… We just want good, pro-growth, fair, flatter tax reform that makes a difference," Ryan said.
But Ryan disputed the notion that a tough primary fight that has included some bruising intra-party campaigning will hurt the eventual nominee.
"You had Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama going into something like June, so I'm not that worried about it. It just became March, so these things are not usually sorted out until later spring. So I'm really not that worried," Ryan said. "When the dust settles, the country will have a clear choice of two futures to make in the fall. All the things that happen between now and the end of spring or whenever this works its way out, I do not think it will have a great impact in the fall."
He also dismissed concerns that Republican candidates were too focused on social issues in recent weeks, saying economic concerns would come to dominate discussion in battleground states. The congressman went on to suggest the recent focus was media-driven.
"I think the media is focusing more on cultural issues than economic issues, because Rick Santorum has a long history of being a cultural conservative. But I do not think that is a centerpiece of the election," Ryan said. "There are different demographics that play here in different battleground states, but at the end of the day, this is about economic freedom, constitutional principles, restoring the founding principles and getting this debt crisis solved.
“Each of these candidates have been very profound, very specific and bold on fixing that problem … I think the media puts extra emphasis on that issue because it is an intriguing narrative because there is very little daylight between these candidates on these fiscal issues," he added.