Although it may be more of just a slight dribble than a full on "bounce" for the Democratic Party after their national convention in Charlotte last week, Team Romney felt sufficiently challenged about the momentum in the race to put their party's standard bearers on three of the Big Five Sunday morning public affairs programs.
Leading it off was Mitt Romney, who appeared for the first time this political season on a Sunday show not on Fox (where he's appeared previously a grand total of two times), going on NBC's Meet The Press with David Gregory.
Among the topics in the wide-ranging interview taped on Friday night and Saturday were looming defense cuts. A GOP meme running over the past couple of months has been to say that President Obama is responsible for the deal that Congress came up with last year as an alternative way to cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit. Called sequestration, the cuts call for more than $500 billion in defense cuts at the end of the year unless a new deal can be reached.
Romney added that he wants to maintain defense spending at the current level of the gross domestic product, which is about 3.5 percent
Among those who voted for sequestration during the summer of 2011 include notable Republicans such as John McCain, John Boehner and oh yeah, Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan.
“I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it,” Romney said.
Over on CBS' Face The Nation, host Norah O'Donnell hammered Ryan for voting for sequestration but then criticizing the deal.
Back on MTP, Romney also defended his budget plans, denying accusations by Democrats that he will cut taxes for the rich while raising them on the middle class.
“People at the high end, high income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. Those numbers are going to come down. Otherwise they’d get a tax break. And I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention, I am not reducing taxes on high income taxpayers.”
“My tax policy is designed to find a way to encourage more hiring in this country,” Romney said. “We encourage small business, because small business is able to keep more of what it makes and therefore hire more people, which is my priority."
However neither Romney nor Ryan will tell anyone what those tax deductions and exemptions would be.
On ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Congressman Ryan to specify what loopholes he would try to plug, suggesting it reeked of a "secret plan." Ryan said it was just the opposite, that unlike the deal President Obama made to craft his health care plan, the Romney-Ryan ticket would work on such plans in full view of the public.
"George, because we want to have this debate in the public," he said. "We want to have this debate with Congress. And we want to do this with the consent of the elected representatives of the people and figure out what loopholes should stay or go and who should or should not get them."
On the topic of health care, Romney said he'd actually preserve some key aspects of "Obamacare," such as making sure that insurers can't deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. That's a notable departure from his unrelenting criticism of a the president's plan that many observers say has its architectural roots in what Romney himself created while governor of Massachusetts.
"Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place.'One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage," adding that "I say we're going to replace Obamacare. And I'm replacing it with my own plan," Romney said. "And even in Massachusetts when I was governor, our plan there deals with pre-existing conditions and with young people."