Huffpost Politics

Romney Adviser: It's 'Politically Unwise' To Campaign In Specifics

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In this Aug. 12, 2012 file photo, Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and his vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), left, campaign in Mooresville, N.C. (Mary Altaffer / AP)
In this Aug. 12, 2012 file photo, Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and his vice presidential running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), left, campaign in Mooresville, N.C. (Mary Altaffer / AP)

So far, putting Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's ticket hasn't led to any detailed plans for his top issue, the budget. That won't change, according to a Romney aide who spoke to Politico.

"The nature of running a presidential campaign is that you're communicating direction to the American people," a Romney adviser, who is not named, told Politico. "Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today's environment, get tripped up."

The issue of the budget, particularly taxes and cuts to entitlement programs, is a pivotal one for the election and is one both campaigns are trying to exploit. For the Romney campaign, that has meant accusing President Barack Obama of decimating Medicare by taking funds from it for his health care law, even though that is a false claim. Ryan's own budget would transform the program to make it almost unrecognizable.

Another Romney official, also unnamed, told Politico the campaign isn't scared to talk about Medicare. "We'll do it for as long as they want," the official said. "Let's do it."

That doesn't mean talking in specifics, however. Romney was vague about his budget plans during the Republican primary -- he said he would cut funding to Planned Parenthood but not much else -- and will continue to be, according to the adviser.

"What you're going to see is a campaign that has clear direction, but not a Simpson-Bowles or Ryan-budget level of detail," the adviser told Politico. "It's not only politically unwise to do that, but it's not how the voters engage in a presidential campaign."

Ryan said earlier this week that he plans to discuss tax plans, but not until after the election.

"That is something that we think we should do in the light of day, through Congress," he said Tuesday on Fox News. He then promised to "have a process for tax reform so that we do this in the front of the public. So no, the point I'm trying to say is, we want feedback from Americans about what priorities in the tax code should be kept, and what special interest loopholes we want to get rid of."

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