Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- President Obama once saw Paul Ryan as a man he could work with. And Mitt Romney says his running mate has a unique ability to reach across the aisle.
But one of the Democrats who knows Ryan best blasts him as anything but a compromiser.
Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen is the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee chaired by Paul Ryan. "I've gotten to know Paul Ryan pretty well. I like Paul Ryan," says Van Hollen.
But he's among the Democrats who think that when Romney picked Ryan it re-focused the Presidential race on a House Republican budget that will turn off a lot of independent voters. "There's a distinction between civility and congeniality and willingness to compromise," says Van Hollen. "If you look at the Ryan Republican budget, it is a totally uncompromising document."
Ryan faced jeers from hecklers and cheers from supporters at the Iowa State Fair on his first day campaigning solo for Vice President. "Obama can't get here from Council Bluffs because he only knows left turns," Ryan told the crowd.
Romney told CBS 60 Minutes he picked Ryan in part for his ability to reach out to people on his left. "He has that unusual, almost unique capacity to find people of different parties who have a common purpose to do something right," Romney said.
Van Hollen says he's yet to see the bipartisan Ryan. He says Ryan and the Republicans refused to accept even a single budget amendment proposed by committee Democrats. "It's our way or no way. This is the Tea Party controlled House. Paul Ryan is the ideological leader."
The President once told Ryan there were things in his budget he agreed with -- and things he disagreed with. Look for both parties over the next three months to focus on the disagreements.
But Romney also told 60 Minutes that he'll will run on his budget plan -- not Ryan's.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
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