RYAN RISING: There has been a surge in mentions about Rep.Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s potential running mate in recent days, and, as National Review Online’s Robert Costa writes, the chatter about a Romney-Ryan ticket could just be true. “These days, you hear it everywhere - from Republican donors and veteran operatives, and at Capitol Hill watering holes. A few weeks ago, it was a wishful rumor floating in the Beltway ether. Now, sources close to the Romney campaign say it’s for real, that the taciturn former Massachusetts governor is quietly warming to the idea.Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the budget king of the GOP, may be Mitt Romney’s veep. ‘Ryan is very highly respected not only by the candidate, but by Romney’s policy shop,’ says Tom Rath, a Romney adviser. ‘Beyond the political relationship, he has a good personal relationship with Romney, and he has been a strong and reliable surrogate since the primary,’” Costa wrote. ” For months, Ryan has been considered a dark horse for the number-two spot. At age 42, he has accomplished much, such as winning seven straight congressional races and authoring his party’s blueprint for entitlement reform. But his lack of executive experience, and his criticism of the Bay State’s health-care program, made his chances look relatively remote. Yet behind the scenes, Ryan’s stock has been steadily rising. Romney, a former Bain Capital consultant who relishes data and metrics, has clicked with the youthful Badger State wonk. They have campaigned together and speak frequently on the phone, comparing notes on policy and strategy. And earlier this year, with Ryan’s blessing, Romney hired three of Ryan’s Budget Committee advisers to help him in Boston.”
PARTY INSIDERS SPLIT ON RYAN: The prospect of Rep. Paul Ryan joining the GOP ticketexcites one side of the Republican Party wishing Romney would be more forthcoming with the policy change he’d bring to Washington while at the same time, spurs hesitancy among others who are concerned Democrats would slash away at a Romney-Ryan ticket based on the Wisconsin representative’s budget plan, Politico’s Jonathan Martin, Jake Sherman and Maggie Haberman reprort. “As Mitt Romney’s vice presidential selection nears and buzz about Rep. Paul Ryan’sprospects builds, a split is emerging among Republicans about whether the choice of the House Budget chairman and architect of the party’s controversial tax and spending plan would be a daring plus for the ticket or a miscalculation that would turn a close election into a referendum on Medicare,” Martin, Sherman and Haberman wrote. “Ryan advocates, including some of his colleagues and high-profile conservative elites, believe Romney will lose if he doesn’t make a more assertive case for his candidacy and that selecting the 42-year-old wonky golden boy would sound a clarion call to the electorate about the sort of reforms the presumptive GOP nominee wants to bring to Washington.