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Obama to spit hot fire on Romney, Ryan budget

Forget for a moment, the jellybean delegate count, or reactionary, media-driven notions of "momentum" in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Forget for a moment, the jellybean delegate count, or reactionary, media-driven notions of "momentum" in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. The new television ad above, which President Obama's re-election campaign will release today, is the first of this election cycle to mention Mitt Romney by name. That's a big of a signifier that this race is all but over as anything we've seen recently.

Tonight's primaries in D.C., Maryland, and most notably, Wisconsin are likely to help boost Romney's delegate lead and put him over the halfway-to-1,144 point. So, his foremost primary argument -- math -- is on his side. Now he has the President directing his fire at him. So this is a good thing for Romney, yes?

Not necessarily. The White House is targeting energy, a decidedly weak area of Romney's policy platform. They're also, like the DNC, now doing their best to remind America that he is BFFs with Congressman Paul Ryan, the author of a brand-new income inequality-exploding budget that House Republicans -- yes, just them -- passed last week. (Before that happened, Melissa broke down the new Ryan budget/"moral document" in "Go Figure." See the segment at right.)

Today, President Obama will tie the knot aggressively in a speech at the Associated Press luncheon, one which may evoke the message he put forth in his widely-noted economic address in Osawatomie, Kansas late last year. On paper, one of the White House' excerpts is brutal on Ryan's plan, calling Ryan's budget a "Trojan Horse," "an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country," and "thinly-veiled Social Darwinism."

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post's Plum Line:

These remarks seem designed to check a number of boxes. First, Obama is arguing that combatting inequality is not only essential as a matter of basic fairness, but because inequality hampers economic growth — a case he hasn’t made as effectively as he might...Obama isn’t just attacking the conservative economic vision as “radical”; he’s making the case that it has already failed us.

The political gift that is the Ryan budget has just started giving, argues Jamelle Bouie in the American Prospect:

Because Obama abandoned the ethos of compromise that failed him during the debt ceiling negotiations, he has freed himself to use more caustic language when attacking his Republican opponents. To wit, Obama calls the Republican budget proposal a “thinly veiled Social Darwinism” in his prepared remarks. This is language that fires up liberals and illustrates the stakes for the millions of undecided Americans who will determine the election in November. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and Syracuse lecturer David Cay Johnston ignores Ryan's plan and slams Reaganism in a new piece for Mother Jones, offering instead a prescription for how to repair the budget that doesn't ignore the middle class. It is well worth the read, as are the stories below: