The numbers presented this afternoon by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, the House assistant Democratic leader, appeared vexing. They were also hypothetical.
Nutter and Clyburn, stumping for President Obama, said education cuts called for in U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan could have a "devastating impact" on students from kindergarten to college. One key factor was left out: Ryan's budget was approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. House in March but then bottled up in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.
A few things have happened since then. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tapped Ryan for vice president on Aug. 11. The next day, Romney said in a joint-interview with Ryan on 60 Minutes that his budget plan trumps Ryan's in the campaign.
Ryan, interviewed by an ABC affiliate in Oxford, Ohio last Thursday, said "I'm joining the Romney ticket. It's not the other way around. So I'm supporting the Mitt Romney plan." Ryan, asked if his budget plan could be merged with Romney's budget plan, replied: "Sure."
Clyburn, of South Carolina, today pointed to Romney's public support of Ryan's budget in March, saying the former governor of Massachusetts has "doubled down in his support" by picking the seven-term congressman for his presidential ticket.
"I don't remember hearing Ryan say that these [budget cuts] will not be used," Clyburn said. "What I do remember is Romney saying that he believed in the Ryan plan. I remember that very clearly."
The Obama campaign on Saturday circulated to reporters an email with links to 13 news reports, most of them citing Romney in March supporting Ryan's budget. The message: Romney can't walk back his support for Romney-Ryan budget."