Do you think trying to balance the federal budget is incendiary?
NBC's David Gregory apparently does, for on Sunday's Meet the Press, he asked Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) "whether a guy like Paul Ryan is a little too incendiary" to be vice president (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DAVID GREGORY, HOST: So I have a question about Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan's chairman of budget committee. You know, I mean like Marco Rubio, guys are the same age, 41 years old, and a big future ahead of him in the Republican Party. But the question, chairman, is whether a guy like Paul Ryan is a little too incendiary. Would the left be able to really go to work on him because of his views about Medicare, because of his budget? Do you think Romney looks at that and says, "Boy, he's attractive, he doubles down on my message, but he'd just be too much of a lightning rod?"
So exactly what about Ryan is incendiary? Is creating two consecutive federal budgets that passed in the House incendiary? Is trying to reduce our skyrocketing deficits and slow the growth in the federal debt incendiary?
And why didn't folks such as Gregory ask in 2008 if a junior senator with little legislative experience and ties to domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, the America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and convicted real estate mogul Tony Rezko was too incendiary to be president?
Fortunately, Issa didn't see it that way:
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-CALIFORNIA): Well, I hope that Governor Romney looks at what Paul Ryan and others have said and not what the political left has said about them. That's part of the consideration.
GREGORY: Right. Well he has. He's embraced a lot of what he says.
ISSA: Right, exactly. If you look at Paul Ryan, he's the person that took on the president in that famous Republican gathering where the president said, "You guys have no ideas." And he said, "Well, wait a second. I gave you this. What about this?" And the president had to back down and say, "Well yes, those are some very good budget ideas."
This is a person of substance that I serve with in the House, I'm very proud to serve with, who has a lot of great ideas. If he's not the vice president, he still is one of the people on the short list for key cabinet positions.
Of course, there are two media realities here. First, Ryan is a rising conservative star in the Republican Party and therefore has to be trashed by folks such as Gregory.
But more importantly, any vice presidential candidate that isn't a RINO doesn't pass the press's litmus test.
Folks like Gregory are busily campaigning for Romney to pick a running mate as liberal as possible in order to increase President Obama's chances of victory.
As a Tea Party favorite, Ryan clearly doesn't fit that mold.
Wouldn't it be nice if they'd all just admit it rather than hiding behind this almost transparent veil of impartiality?
Or would that be too inconvenient a truth?