Paul Ryan interview:
QUESTION: Should abortions to be available to women who are raped?
RYAN: Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.
Think Progress headline:
I’m surprised they didn’t ask him if he stopped beating his wife.
Obviously the Democrats hope to make this election about abortion. They would rather talk about anything but the economy.
But is that a good strategy?
The Democrats apparently think they have hit the jackpot with Todd Akin’s moment of stupidity, but I’m not so sure. How, exactly, are they going to take advantage of Akin’s blunder? By talking ceaselessly about abortion. At the Washington Examiner, Paul Bedard headlines: “Dem Convention becomes anti-Akin affair.” That is a serious mistake. The Democratic convention should be an anti-Romney affair.
We can only pray that this report is true, and that the Democrats devote all three days in Charlotte to discussions of abortion rights, rape and contraception. If there is one thing we can say with certainty this year, it is that the overwhelming majority of voters don’t want to hear about the social issues. They want to know how we are going to climb out of the four-year economic funk that has been the Obama administration. If undecided viewers tune into the Democratic convention and hear all about abortion, and tune into the Republican convention and hear all about the economy, Romney will win in a landslide.
And, by the way, Republicans should help drive this contrast by saying nothing–and I mean, absolutely nothing–about any social issue. They should talk the economy non-stop, with occasional digressions into foreign policy. If they are asked about abortion, they should chide the reporter for asking about a topic that is of little interest to voters and that, by the way, the president, vice president, senators and congressmen have no ability to do anything about, and give an answer about the economy. If the Democrats want to define themselves to voters as the party of abortion and gay marriage, please, God, let them do so!
This is where message discipline and sticking to your game plan become important. The Obama campaign and the media (but I repeat myself) are trying desperately to change the subject. They are grossly exaggerating Ryan’s record, trying to force him to defend himself.
But there is an old axiom – “If you are explaining, you’re losing.”
R&R need to hang tough, stick with their strategy and keep their eyes on the prize.