Elections 2012: Paul Ryan Budget Reflects Romney’s Economic Vision

Ryan’s controversial budget and economic vision, marked by deep cutbacks to the social safety net coupled with lower tax rates, swiftly became a centerpiece of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign on Saturday.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, introduces his vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Va. Photo: Mitt Romney/Flickr

Republicans are hoping that Ryan, as their vice presidential candidate, will convincingly articulate their vision for a smaller federal government and lower deficits, lifting Romney’s flagging poll numbers and drawing a starker contrast with President Barack Obama’s Democrats.

But his controversial reforms to Medicare will become a huge target for Democratic attacks and could hurt Romney’s chances in some states with large elderly populations, including the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“This makes Medicare a central issue in the election. It’s going to rank just as highly as healthcare reform,” said Robert Blendon, a political analyst with the Harvard School of Public Health.

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