Here is the interview:
The Media Matters blog asked some pretty apt questions on this admission;
First, Mitt Romney has been going around telling everyone that, if elected, he intends to balance the federal budget by the end of his second term, or shortly thereafter. Ryan says that they don’t know when Romney’s plan will balance the budget. If Ryan is right, then what is Romney basing that claim on?
Second, the narrative that Ryan has cultivated among the press is that he’s a budget wonk who understands fiscal issues and is allergic to deficits (this despite having voted for all the Bush-era policies that saddled us with high debt and ballooning deficits). Embracing the Romney budget and then saying that he doesn’t know when it will balance because the campaign “hasn’t run the numbers” runs counter to his reputation as a Serious Fiscal Hawk.
Third, as Ezra Klein of the Washington Postdetailed yesterday, the Romney campaign’s rhetoric about their budget goals butts up hard against fiscal realities. The campaign argues that their budget will cut spending to 20 percent of GDP by 2016. That’s unlikely enough, but they’ve also announced that cuts to Medicare are off the table. As Klein put it, Romney’s stated goal of balancing the budget in 8-10 years is “a fantasy, and it will never happen.” Ryan’s remarks yesterday would seem to confirm that.
Fourth, how can you claim to have a budget and also to have not “run the numbers?” Isn’t that all a budget is? Numbers that have been run?
Romney and Ryan should probably reach an agreement on the level of ambiguity they wish to have with the press in order to avoid awkwardness such as this.
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