Time after time, when asked to offer specifics of their plan, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan punt. They can't or won't offer any specifics at all, and you've got to wonder why. It’s like they think they can win by running a stealth campaign.
"We think the secret to economic growth is lower tax rates for families and successful small businesses by plugging loopholes," Ryan told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week." "Now the question is not necessarily what loopholes go, but who gets them. High income earners use most of the loopholes. That means they can shelter their income from taxation."
When Stephanopoulos asked him why he has refused to be more specific about which loopholes he would plug, Ryan suggested that it's because he and Romney don't yet know. "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."
Meanwhile, host David Gregory tried to get some specifics out of Romney in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Give me an example of a loophole you would close," Gregory said, after trying and failing several times to coax the candidate into giving specifics.
Romney couldn't give one. "Well, I can tell you that people at the high end, high income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions," he said. "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."
But the stealth tactics aren’t working. Top Romney advisers concede that Romney is losing and Obama is winning.
“Their map has many more routes to victory,” said a top Republican official. Two officials intimately involved in the GOP campaign said Ohio leans clearly in Obama’s favor now, with a high single-digit edge, based on their internal tracking numbers of conservative groups. Romney can still win the presidency if he loses Ohio, but it’s extremely difficult.