Sources: GOP has doubts about Ryan pick
(CBS News) CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - When Mitt Romney announced on Saturday he was picking Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, he was roundly applauded by Republicans and especially conservatives. But as attention has shifted from jobs and the economy to Ryan's position on Medicare and social programs, some in the party are showing some concern about the selection.
In a USA Today/Gallup poll, 39 percent of Americans said Ryan is an excellent or pretty good choice for vice president. Forty-two percent said he's fair or poor.
The people at rallies in Wisconsin and Colorado are fired up -- even the ones who don't know Ryan say they like what they've been hearing. But the question is: What will those independent voters think?
The Gallup poll taken Sunday showed Romney's pick helped in his conservative base. Thirty-six percent of Republicans said they are more likely to vote for him -- that's 6 points higher than when John McCain picked Sarah Palin in 2008.
But some inside the GOP establishment tell CBS News there are fears Ryan will do more harm than good with independent voters.
Romney has staked his campaign on the economy, the issue voters say they care about most. But getting more attention now are Ryan's proposals to cut the budget and reform entitlements like Medicare.
This week on the campaign trail, Ryan hasn't mentioned Medicare and, with speeches focused on the economy, reinforced Romney is at the top of the ticket.
"Where are the jobs, Mr. President?" Ryan said at one campaign stop.
Romney is talking Medicare -- and going on the offensive trying to frame the issue by saying their plan is better than the president's. The campaign doubled down today with a new ad.
"Obama has cut $716 billion from medicare," says the narrator in the new Romney ad. "Why? To pay for Obamacare."
But Medicare is a debate the Obama campaign wants and today the president kept the focus on Congressman Ryan's plan to fundamentally change the program they say people pay more out of pocket.
"He's the ideological leader of the Republicans in congress and he is an articulate spokesperson for Gov. Romney's views," President Obama said. "The problem is those views are wrong."
Romney campaign sources say the Obama campaign would make Medicare an issue no matter who the nominee was. They said they're ready to talk about cutting spending and reforming social programs -- along with the economy.
- Jan Crawford
Jan Crawford is CBS News Chief Political and Legal Correspondent. She is from "Crossroads," Alabama.Follow on Twitter »
- Okla. tornado survivor finds dog buried alive under rubble
- Storm spotter: Oklahoma tornado "a nightmare"
- Survivors pulled from Okla. school hit by tornado
- Oklahoma tornado survivor: "Everything is gone"
- At least 51 dead after tornado strikes Oklahoma City suburb
- 5/20: Deadly tornado strikes Okla.; Fmr. Cincinnati IRS office worker speaks out
- Inside the IRS office that targeted conservative groups
- Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico
- Oklahoma governor: We need lots of prayers tonight
- Oklahoma tornado leaves residents in state of shock
- Oklahoma City manager: Tornado created "significant damage"
- 16-year-old finds a new way to detect cancer
- Lotto winners with tragic story thank "guardian angel"
- WH Benghazi emails have different quotes than earlier reported
- The power of a uniquely American song
- Elizabeth Smart reacts to Cleveland kidnapping