About a year ago, when Paul Ryan’s original budget plan was unveiled, Mitt Romney was not yet an announced presidential candidate, and went to great lengths to avoid endorsing the far-right agenda. Romney dodged questions for months, until reporters eventually gave up asking.
That changed in December, when Romney found his presidential campaign in a bit of trouble, and discovered he had to work harder to prove his conservative bona fides. On Dec. 8, the Romney campaign boasted, “Mitt Romney supports what Paul Ryan did. He endorsed what Paul Ryan did.” The campaign went even further soon after, attacking Newt Gingrich for failing to fully embrace the Ryan plan.
Eventually, after avoiding the subject for nearly a year, the former governor broke down and said out loud, “We’re going to have to make changes like the ones Paul Ryan proposed.”
That was in December. What, pray tell, does Romney think about Ryan’s new-and-not-improved budget plan? Here’s what the former governor said a campaign event yesterday:
“I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan. It’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and on the part of the Republicans and it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier…. I applaud it. It’s an excellent piece of work and very much needed.”
There’s not a lot of wiggle room here. “I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan” is not an ambiguous statement of support, no matter what Romney chooses to do with his Etch A Sketch.
This is no small development. On the contrary, it’s arguably one of the most important policy developments of the year – Romney is “very supportive” of a budget plan that ends Medicare’s guaranteed benefit, takes health care coverage from millions, radically redistributes wealth in the wrong direction, slashes taxes on the very wealthy, and would “take food from poor children, make it harder for low-income students to get a college degree, and squeeze funding for research, education, and infrastructure.”
Romney is “very supportive” of this plan – and Democrats couldn’t be happier about it.