Paul Krugman doubled down on his criticism of Paul Ryan's budget plan on Wednesday night, and called the vice-presidential candidate a figment of Republicans' imagination.
The economist has been a vocal critic of Ryan's budget. On Wednesday, he appeared on Current TV to analyze the plan with Al Gore — who is hosting the network's coverage of the conventions — and hosts Eliot Spitzer and Jennifer Granholm.
Krugman said that Ryan's plan would leave "tens of millions" of people without health insurance. Gore said that his understanding is that it would take money from the poor and give it to the rich while increasing the budget deficit.
Krugman said that was indeed the case. "How can [Ryan] get away with this?" he asked incredulously. "World's greatest nation falls for this flimflam?"
Later, he skewered the belief that Ryan is serious about balancing the budget. "There is supposed to be a person like the mythical Paul Ryan," he argued. "There is supposed to be a serious conservative who really cares about the deficit… Paul Ryan understood that a lot of people in the media, a lot of people in the beltway establishment wanted there to be such a person and so he played into that desire. He became the figure of their dreams. In reality, he is nothing like that."