Romney coming to Florida without Paul Ryan

Will Mitt's Veep selection be a drag with older voters?

The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo and the Tampa Tribune's William March published front page stories on Sunday referring to the risky choice Romney made in selecting Ryan when it comes to Florida, home to so many seniors dependent on Medicare.

This is my favorite part of March's story:

Several Republicans said Saturday they see no threat that Florida seniors will reject the ticket over Ryan's proposals to change entitlement programs.

"I think people are over the demagoguery," said Hillsborough County Republican activist Sam Rashid. "Everyone understands that this entire system, if it's not beefed up, is going to be nonexistent. I don't think it's a holy grail that no one can touch any more."

But Jewett said recognizing the problem isn't the same as accepting a solution.

"When you ask Americans if they're concerned about the deficit, they are," he said. "But when you present specific cuts or taxes to do something about it, they don't want to hear it."

While Ryan may hurt Romney's chances in Florida, he could enhance his electoral prospects in two other states.

One would be in nearby Iowa, where the polls have been extremely close, and where 7 electoral votes are at stake.

The other is in Ryan's own home state of Wisconsin, where a Republican hasn't won since Ronald Reagan in 1984, and where Obama beat John McCain by 14 percentage points in 2008. The Badger state has 17 electoral votes at stake. Last month a Public Policy Polling survey had Obama up by six points over Romney. With Ryan attached to the ticket, the lead was just one point.

Mitt Romney takes his bus-tour of swing states to Florida on Monday, but without his new leading man, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who instead will be in Iowa.


When the Romney camp announced that he would be going on this bus tour, rumors swirled that his VP selection was near, since it would make a lot of sense for Romney to tour with his new running mate (a la Bill Clinton-Al Gore in 1992) with a new boost of energy.

Ryan was with Romney throughout the weekend in campaign stops in Virginia and North Carolina, but curiously will not travel with the presidential candidate when the tour hits Orlando and Miami.

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden tells CBS News that Ryan won't be in Florida on Monday, but that has nothing to do with his controversial budget proposals which include a serious revamping of Medicare, where Ryan has proposed to give future Medicare beneficiaries the opportunity to opt into a system of subsidized, private insurance plans.

"This has more to do with expanding our bandwidth," he said. "Governor Romney is going to be talking about the issues that are important to Floridians. And I think Congressman Ryan's going to be able to be down in Florida during this campaign and will be doing the same, at some point."

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