The political grapevine is abuzz this morning over a report that Paul Ryan has been chafing under restraints imposed on him by Mitt Romney’s campaign bosses and is trying to break free from them — privately disparaging the Mittster in the process.
The REPORT AT ISSUE was written by veteran journalist Roger Simon of Politico and reads in part as follows:
Paul Ryan has gone rogue. He is unleashed, unchained, off the hook.
“I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him,” Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times on Sunday.
Coming from a resident of Iowa, a state where people are polite even to soybeans, this was a powerful condemnation of the Republican nominee.
Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”
Dan Senor, one of Romney’s closest advisers, has kept a tight grip on Ryan, traveling with him everywhere and making sure he hews to the directions of the Romney “brain trust” in Boston. (A brain trust, rumor has it, that refers to Ryan as “Gilligan.”)
HERE‘s one reaction to Simon’s story:
[E]xpect Camp Romney and Camp Ryan to try and paper over this report. But the Politico’s Roger Simon is a trustworthy, experienced reporter. And his report is getting a lot of buzz…
Have we ever heard of a winning Presidential ticket in American politics that had a Vice Presidential candidate have an attitude like this about his running mate? Talk about a total lack of deference (or respect)…
Very bad news for Romney: (1) If his own running mate isn’t treating him with respect or as if he already has the majesty of the Oval Office surrounding him, who will? (2) Vice Presidential candidates have almost always been deferential to the person at the top of the ticket. (3) Even reports about Sarah Palin didn’t have her calling McCain names. (4) The talk about let Ryan be Ryan underscores the thirst many GOPers have for a genuine candidate who is known for not just conservative ideas but talking in terms of specificity.
It began with Mitt Romney’s 47% disaster in front of mega-wealthy donors. Paul Ryan saying that Mitt Romney was “obviously inarticulate.” But according to multiple reports now, Ryan is trying to save himself so he can live to run another day.
Roger Simon’s piece has spread like wildfire and is causing a gigantic ripple.
When a tape was shown in Ohio on “Morning Joe” today the “stench” was in full view. The crowd started chanting “Ryan. Ryan. Ryan.” Romney stepped up and when he shook Ryan’s hand you could see what Paul Ryan was saying to his running mate. It looked like “Sorry, man.” Romney smiled, then started saying “Romney-Ryan. Romney-Ryan.”
It was horrifying.