Paul Ryan Fox News Sunday Interview: 47 Percent Remark Was a Misstep


Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan came out of hiding this Sunday as he and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were deployed to the Sunday shows to assure nervous GOP voters and donors that Mitt Romney will turn the race "upside down" with his performance at the October 3 first presidential debate from the University of Denver in Colorado.  

“We’ve had some missteps,” Ryan said on Fox News Sunday referring to the comment Romney made at a private Boca Raton, Florida, exclusive fundraiser that 47% of Americans see themselves as victims that depend on the government and will vote for President Obama "no matter what."  

Romney “acknowledges himself that was an inarticulate way of describing how we’re worried that, in a stagnant Obama economy, more people have become dependent on government because they have no economic opportunity,” rephrased Ryan the Wisconsin congressman and chairman of the House Budget Committee.

When asked by host Chris Wallace about a plurality of recent polls that show Romney trailing Obama in different states, issues and demographics, Ryan played the underdog card by replying that we are “running against an incumbent president with incredible resources.” However, he added that in the three debates that Romney will have with President Obama -- as well as in the October 11 forum he'll have with Vice President Joe Biden -- the Republican ticket would offer voters “a very clear choice.” 

Ryan's comments mirrored New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's who took to NBC's Meet the Press and CBS's Face the Nation to talk about taxes, the debt, Obama, Romney and -- especially -- himself, and how (like Romney in Massachusetts) he has been able to reach across the aisle and get things done despite a Democratic legislature in a blue state "because America is hungry for bipartisanship."  

“He’s had a tough couple of weeks, let’s be honest,” said Christie of Romney. But he said that the morning after the Oct. 3 debate in Denver, “you are all going to be scratching your heads, saying, ‘Wow, we have a barn-burner now.’” The outspoken NJ governor said that the debates would give Romney a chance to talk directly to voters nationwide without “being filtered by anybody.” 

However, this line drifts from the Romney campaign's carefully designed and executed downplaying of expectations ahead of the debate. Early in the week, the Romney campaign put out a memo in which they highlighted the fact that President Obama is "widely regarded as one of the most talented political communicators in modern history" and that "this will be the eighth one-on-one presidential debate of his political career [while] for Mitt Romney, it will be his first." Can this campaign be on message for once?