Romney on "same page" as Ryan with budget, but differences in their records
On Monday, Romney emphasized to reporters that he's "on the same page" as Ryan when it comes to the Wisconsin Republican's controversial budget plan, which became a source of renewed scrutiny when Ryan was tapped to run as Romney's VP.
"I'm sure there are places that my budget is different than his, but we're on the same page," Romney said.
In an apparent attempt to distance the former Massachusetts governor from Ryan's proposal, the Romney campaign on Sunday released talking points to Republicans stressing that the candidate "will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance."
When pressed on Monday to enumerate how Romney's plan would differ from Ryan's, the candidate declined to name anything specific.
"The items that we agree on I think outweigh any differences there may be," he said.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg News points out that Ryan was key in killing the chances of the 2010 the Bowles-Simpson budget plan - a plan Romney now cites as a good "starting point" for the discussion about overhauling the tax system.
Ryan, who was a member of the 18-member Simpson-Bowles panel, was one of 7 people to vote against a plan that would have reduced the national debt by nearly $4 trillion.
The Simpson-Bowles plan is not the only policy proposal in which Romney and his running mate have had differing opinions: Romney opposed the auto bailout, which Ryan supported, and Ryan's position on abortion is more stringent than Romney's.
Romney said Monday that he and Ryan hadn't "gone through piece by piece and said, 'Oh here's a place where there's a difference,'" and emphasized that even though he couldn't "imagine any two people even in the same party who have exactly the same positions on all issues," he and Ryan shared similar beliefs when it comes to Medicare.
"My plan for Medicare is very similar to his plan for Medicare," Romney said. "Which is, do not change the program for current retirees or near-retirees. But do not do what the president's done and that's to cut $700 billion out of the current program instead look down the road."
Ryan's 2012 budget supported many of the same cuts to Medicare that President Obama has made, and the Wisconsin Republican's Medicare plan - which would turn the system into what's called a "premium support" plan - is quickly becoming a major campaign issue.
In a Tuesday appearance on CNN, Romney adviser Tara Wall reiterated that sentiment.
"This ticket is unified. It is a unified ticket. I think with any ticket and with any personality you have differences. You have differences of viewpoints, you have different ways of handling things," she said. "But I think that they are certainly 100 percent on the same page and on the same path relative to saying that we have to reform Medicare... Offering options like vouchers and things like that and opportunities for folks to look at this from a common sense approach that will help to alleviate our debt and our burden on Americans to start solving problems for this, something that this administration has yet to do. So I think there's boldness in that. And I think again there's unity with this ticket."
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