Paul Ryan Takes Swipe at Romney?

Nobody would ever mistake Paul Ryan as a Mitt Romney fan, but since last March, he’s avoided pointed criticism of the candidate. That will probably be changing soon, and Ryan seems to take a shot at the Massachusetts governor in his latest CNN interview:

“We have had a history in this party of kind of giving it to the next person in line. That is not the kind of nomination we need to have. This needs to be an election as great as the problems that we have which is it needs to be a referendum election on the American idea.”

Romney’s the only top-tier candidate that could be a reference to – it definitely doesn’t describe Bachmann or Perry. But for once, Ryan actually sounded optimistic about the GOP field, saying it’s starting to look like someone will be able to address the debt issue effectively:

“People are worried that this election is not going to be cast in the way it ought to be and that is why people have asked me to get in, but I think it will be. I do. I really do,” he said. “It is getting there I think.”

While he has passed on a presidential run, he’ll likely be on the short list of vice presidential candidates for any nominee. When asked whether he would accept a VP position, Ryan said that was “something that is out of my control. It is somebody else’s decision” – which seems to at least imply he wouldn’t turn it down.