McCain: Ryan 'a Bold Choice;' Pawlenty 'Not Disappointed'

Paul Ryan dominated the conversation on Sunday. McCain called him a 'a bold choice,' and compared him to Palin; David Axelrod called him 'bright,' but 'wrong;' and Tim Pawlenty tried to convince us he's 'not disappointed,' with getting passed over, again. 

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John McCain is down with a Romney/Ryan ticket. During his appearance on Fox News Sunday he called Ryan "a bold choice," but added that he didn't see any comparison between Ryan and his Veep, Sarah Palin. McCain was asked if Ryan will end up outshining Romney. "I had that problem," McCain said, jokingly, before adding, "I don't think that's the case [with Ryan.]" Then McCain took a moment to defend his choosing of Palin in '08. "I'm still proud of my running mate. I'm proud of Sarah and her family and the work we did," McCain said. He also noted that Ryan is also a "bold choice" who will help Romney navigate his agenda through the Congress.

David Axelrod did all but ruffle Paul Ryan's hair during his appearance on CNN's State of the Union. He said Obama thinks Ryan is a bright kid, but that his views are wrong. "He thinks he's a perfectly genial and bright guy. He just thinks his theory is wrong. I mean Congressman Ryan is a right-wing ideologue and that's reflected in the positions that he's taken," Axelrod told host Candy Crowley. "Good person. Genial person but his views are quite harsh," he said. Then he sided with Newt Gingrich's old line on Ryan's budget. "Newt Gingrich called it right-wing social engineering, and he was right about that," Axelrod said. He also pointed out that Romney would pay less that one percent taxes under Ryan's budget plan. "Congressman Ryan had a proposal in 2010. If you took Gov. Romney's tax returns and applied the changes that Congressman Ryan wanted to make to the tax system, Gov. Romney would pay less than 1 percent on his taxes," he said.

During a separate appearance on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous, Axelrod denied charges that a Priorities U.S.A. ad connects a laid off steel worker's wife's death to Romney and Bain Capitol. "I don't think anybody believes that Mr. Soptic's wife -- that Gov. Romney can be blamed for the death of Mr. Soptic's wife, and frankly I don't think the ad says that either," Axelrod said. Stephanopolous asked if the ad was inappropriate. "As I said, I don't think Gov. Romney can be blamed for that woman's death. What he can be blamed for is taking that steel company to bankruptcy, walking away with millions of dollars and leaving workers without pensions, without the health coverage they were promised. That's a real issue. He has run on his business experience and his business experience is things like the GS Steel Story," Axelrod said.

D.N.C. Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz went in another direction during her appearance on Fox News Sunday, trying to distance the whole Democratic party from Priorities U.S.A. She said she has "no idea the political affiliation of folks who are associated" with Priorities U.S.A. "That is a super PAC ad that is not affiliated with the campaign or the party," Wasserman Schultz said. The Super PAC was started by two former Obama staffers. Regardless, she said there was "no question the ad raises facts such as that Mitt Romney when he was CEO of Bain Capital bankrupted companies, laid of workers, cut their benefits and made millions of dollars in profits. that ad points out there are consequences to making decisions like that impact people's lives in a significant way."

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker thought his state was going to be close before Paul Ryan was ever added to the ticket, he revealed on Meet the Press. "I thought it was competitive after our election, and I think it's even more competitive with Paul Ryan on the line. And I think it's not just because Paul is from Wisconsin" Walker said. "We saw in my election two months a go what they want more than anything is people that will tell them the truth, who are courageous and willing to take on tough decisions and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are exactly the kind of comeback team to make that happen," he said. He also thinks, despite everyone else saying he's a hard right, that Ryan can reach swing voters. "He has tremendous appeal to swing voters, independent voters in states like Wisconsin, that are battleground because he's smart and he's bold but he listens and he relates well to voters all across the political spectrum," Walker said.

Two high profile campaign advisers went to battle over Paul Ryan's budget on Sunday. Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom and Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter got into it on CBS's Face the Nation. The two started arguing over the contentious state of the election so far, and whether the two candidates were actually campaigning on issues, or if they were just attacking each other constantly. Fehrnstrom called the Obama campaign '50 Shades of Mud,' which might be the dirtiest thing anyone's said on Face the Nation. "Mitt romney is going to be running an issue-oriented campaign, waged on big ideas and not engage in the type of nasty negative politics that we've seen from the Barack Obama campaign," Fehrntrom said. Cutter went right for the throat the budget when responding. "It would be the end of Medicare as we know it. It would increase costs on senior and throw them in the private market," Cutter said.

You can see part of Cutter's remarks here:

Newt Gingrich appeared on Face the Nation to try and bury any beef he had outstanding with the new Veep pick, Paul Ryan. He previously called his infamous budget 'right-wing social engineering,' but on Sunday he said Ryan adressed his concerns about what the budget would do to Medicare. "He came back with an improved Medicare plan. He met my only objection," Gingrich said. He also praised Ryan, generally, during the interview. "You now have a national leader who is capable of talking in detail with the American people about some very complicated topics," Gingrich said.

Poor T-Paw. He had to put on a straight face on This Week and tell everyone he wasn't disappointed about getting passed over for Mitt's Veep. "I'm not disappointed. I didn't get something I didn't expect," Pawlenty told George Stephanopoulos. It's the second general election in a row Pawlenty was considered a top pick to be the Republican Vice Presidential choice, but got passed up for more 'bold' choices. He was able to joke about Obama strategist David Axelrod saying he'd be a good Veep choice. "I told David off-air, I'm reminded by the old phrase 'Get off my side, because I don't think that helped," he said. Ever the company man, Pawlenty was still singing Romney's praises and trying to turn his business experience into foreign policy experience. "Don't assume that Gov. Romney doesn't have foreign policy and international experience. My goodness, he spent his entire career in global business arrangements, transactions, traveling and understanding different countries, cultures, geographies and the like so he gets these issues very well and probably better than the president," he said. He also said he gave over 'a bunch' of years worth of tax returns. "I don't know the exact number, George, but there were several years, I believe," Pawlenty said.

Reince Priebus accused President Obama of doing more damage with his Affordable Care Act than Paul Ryan's budget would do with its cuts to Medicare. During his appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Priebus charged that Obama has "blood on his hands" for the way Affordable Care changes the way Medicare is funded. "If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regards to Medicare, it's Barack Obama." Priebus said. "He's the one destroying Medicare." Preibus was showed the Obama campaign ad released yesterday morning that attacks the Ryan budget. "This president stole -- he didn't cut Medicare -- he stole $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare," Priebus said.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.