For a party that’s supposedly so thrilled at the opportunity to run against Paul Ryan’s budget plan, the Democrats are spending an awful lot of time focusing on unrelated social issues. Here’s the DNC’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz hammering Ryan’s pro-life views in an email blast today (via Weekly Standard):
As a member of the House Budget Committee, I’ve seen firsthand just how extreme Paul Ryan is, so I’m not going to mince words: Paul Ryan in the White House would be a nightmare.
Over the last two years, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of attacks on a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions — and Congressman Ryan has been at the forefront of all of them.
He wants to end Medicare as we know it. He co-sponsored a radical “personhood” bill that could have banned the birth control pill, in vitro fertilization, and all abortions — even in cases of rape or incest. What’s more? He wants to allow states to criminally prosecute women who choose to have abortions and the doctors who perform them.
We cannot afford to let this man be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
There’s only so much mud the Democrats can sling at Paul Ryan’s deficit plan before the public starts to catch on that the Democratic Party has no plan for tackling the problem whatsoever. So they’re still going to have to continue to make this election about small issues — hence the completely irrelevant attack on Ryan’s views on abortion. Planned Parenthood is also ramping up its Paul Ryan fear mongering, lest the American people elect a pro-lifer “a heartbeat away from the presidency” (ignore the fact that Romney, who would be the actual president under this scenario, is also pro-life).
The attacks are entirely predictable, and they have nothing to do with the candidate. As much as Democrats are crowing about how Ryan is so beatable because of the Ryan plan, they’re pulling out many of the same exact attacks that would have been launched against Pawlenty or Portman or Rubio.
Ryan is best when he’s talking about the budget and deficit; Democrats clearly want to push him onto less familiar social-issues territory in order to, a.) Knock him off his game and hope he makes a mistake, and b.) Ensure that he doesn’t have a chance to sell the plan to the public.
Whether they succeed depends on whether the Romney campaign — and the rest of the GOP — can stay focused on the big picture.