Bill Kristol and Stephen Hayes caused a stir this week when they encouraged Mitt Romney to pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) as his running mate.
The conservative Weekly Standard authors based their argument for Ryan on the premise that Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has endorsed the House Budget Committee chairman's budget anyway, and is going to be attacked for it by President Barack Obama's campaign no matter what.
"If Ryan’s budget is going to be a central part of the debate over the next three months, who better to explain and defend it than Paul Ryan?" Kristol and Hayes wrote.
Yuval Levin, a former White House policy adviser for President George W. Bush who has been one of the most authoritative conservative voices arguing in favor of fundamental reform of entitlement programs like Medicare, told The Huffington Post that he agrees with Kristol and Hayes.
"The fact is that you can't choose whether to run on this or not anymore," Levin said of the Ryan budget and of his Medicare reforms. "Obama will make [Romney] run on this because Democrats continue to think that they have a huge advantage by pushing the issue. And I think there's going to be a kind of Medicare chapter of the Obama campaign that is going to be coming soon."
A phone conversation with Paul Begala, a veteran Democratic strategist who is now raising funds and consulting for Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC supporting Obama, confirmed that Levin's conjecture was correct.
Asked whether Romney will have to campaign on the Ryan budget reforms or whether he should stick to his current jobs and the economy script, Begala told HuffPost, "they will because we're going to require them to."
"I promise you the Ryan-Romney budget is going to be central to this discussion," Begala said. "This is not like some crackpot theory from some long dead Russian immigrant. It is now the official budget of the Republican party of the House of Representatives. This is not like just some kind of fringe deal."
Begala declined to comment on when Priorities USA plans to unleash their criticisms of the Ryan budget. They are most likely waiting to see if Romney picks Ryan as his running mate, in which case those attacks could be coming sooner than later.
Super PACs like Priorities USA are forbidden by law from coordinating their activities with the Obama campaign. So far this year, the group has worked to reinforce the Obama campaign's attacks on Romney's private equity career at Bain Capital.
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt declined to preview strategic planning for the rest of the campaign, but said as far as they are concerned, Romney already is running on the Ryan budget.
"Governor Romney has not only fully embraced the Ryan budget, but he has introduced a budget plan that is a carbon copy -- it makes seniors pay thousands of dollars more each year for their health care and severe cuts to programs essential to the middle class in order to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires," LaBolt said. "Mitt Romney is campaigning on the flawed assumption that we can just cut our way to prosperity."
Birth Certificate -- "Born In The USA"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/27/obama-birth-certificate-r_n_854248.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(April 27, 2011) --</strong></a> The White House <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/04/27/president-obamas-long-form-birth-certificate" target="_hplink">released</a> President Barack Obama's "long form" birth certificate, adding documentation to a longstanding discussion over his ability to serve as commander in chief. "We do not have time for this kind of silliness," Obama said. "We have better stuff to do. I have got better stuff to do. We have got big problems to solve." (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Osama Bin Laden Killed -- "Tonight, Tonight"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/01/osama-bin-laden-dead-killed_n_856091.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(May 1, 2011)</strong></a> -- In a televised address to the nation, Obama announces that Osama bin Laden is dead. His death was the result of a U.S. operation launched today in Abbottabad, Pakistan, against a compound where bin Laden was believed to be hiding. "[T]oday's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people," Obama proclaimed. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)
Debt Ceiling Deal -- "Gold On The Ceiling"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/02/obama-debt-ceiling-deal-jobs_n_916285.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(Aug. 2, 2011) --</strong></a> After the Senate passed a bill to raise the debt limit, Obama pleaded with Congress to shift their attention to jobs. "I will urge them to immediately take some steps -- bipartisan, common-sense steps -- that will make a difference; that will create a climate where businesses can hire, where folks have more money in their pockets to spend, where people who are out of work can find good jobs," he said. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
Don't Ask Don't Tell -- "Don't Stop Believin'"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/20/barack-obama-dont-ask-dont-tell-repeal-statement_n_971662.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(Sept. 20, 2011) --</strong></a> As the ban on gays serving in the military came to an end, Obama hailed the fresh start, celebrating the fact that "patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love." (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Iraq War To End -- "Homeward Bound"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/21/obama-iraq-troop-withdrawal_n_1024108.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(Oct. 21, 2011) --</strong></a> Obama announced that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by 2011, fulfilling a promise that dated back to his campaign. "As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end," Obama said. "So today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year." (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Singing Al Green's "Let's Stay Together"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/20/obama-al-green-apollo-theater_n_1218070.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(Jan. 20, 2012) --</strong></a> During a fundraiser at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater, Obama delivered a memorable musical message to his donors. With Rev. Al Green in attendance, Obama sang part of Green's hit song "Let's Stay Together," drawing strong applause from the crowd.
Singing Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/obama-sings-sweet-home-chicago_n_1292576.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(Feb. 21, 2012) --</strong></a> Days after his Al Green rendition, Obama flexed his vocal chords again with a hometown favorite. The East Room of the White House had its blues fix filled when the president started swinging "Sweet Home Chicago."
Gay Marriage -- "Can't Fight This Feeling"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/obama-gay-marriage_n_1503245.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(May 9, 2012) --</strong></a> In a sit-down interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, Obama explained his evolution on the issue, affirming his support for gay marriage. "[A]t a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," he said.
Immigration -- "With Arms Wide Open"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/obama-immigration-order-deportation-dream-act_n_1599658.html " target="_hplink"><strong>(June 15, 2012) --</strong></a> The Obama administration addressed America's immigration issue, announcing that it will halt deportations and grant work permits to young individuals eligible for Dream-Act benefits. "They pledge allegiance to our flag," Obama said. "They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper."(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Health Care Reform -- "Beautiful Day"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/supreme-court-health-care-decision_n_1585131.html" target="_hplink"><strong>(June 28, 2012) --</strong></a> After weeks of speculation that Obama's signature piece of legislation could be overturned, the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is constitutional. "It should be pretty clear that I didn't do this because it's good politics," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/obama-health-care-ruling_n_1632953.html" target="_hplink">Obama said</a>. "I did it because it's good for the country." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)