GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan declined Sunday to give specifics of the campaign’s tax plan, saying “it would take me too long.”
The Democrats have repeatedly hammered Ryan and Mitt Romney for failing to detail how they would finance a promised 20% tax cut.
On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace pressed Ryan to do the arithmetic, noting that President Obama says it would cost $5 trillion over a decade.
Ryan said that figure was off-base but refused to offer one of his own.
“I don’t have time,” the Wisconsin congressman said. “It would take me too long to go through all the math.”
He insisted the tax plan was “revenue neutral” because eliminating loopholes and deductions would make up for the lost tax revenue — but he did not specify which ones are on the chopping block.
Asked about recent polls that show Obama leading Romney, Ryan expressed little concern.
“We’re going to win this race,” he said.
“You’re not, at this point,” Wallace said. “You’re losing.”
An Associated Press analysis published Sunday says that if the election were held today, Obama would win at least 271 electoral votes — one more than he needs to hang onto the White House.
The news agency says that to defeat Obama, Romney needs to win in the swing states of Florida, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia — plus either Ohio or Iowa.
Ryan said there’s enough time for the campaign to make up that ground.
“People really focus near the end and that’s happening now,” the candidate said.
Some pundits have suggested that Romney’s only hope of pulling ahead of Obama is a rout in Wednesday’s debate, suggesting a mediocre or poor performance would dry up donations and cast a pall over the campaign.
With that in mind, Ryan seemed to lower expectations for Romney’s performance.
“President Obama is a gifted speaker,” he said. “This is Mitt’s first time on this kind of a stage.”
But, he also said, “I don’t think one event is going to make or break this campaign.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, appearing on several Sunday morning news shows, didn’t undersell Romney and said he expected him to do well in the face-off.
“This whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning,” Christie predicted on CBS’s "Face The Nation."