Mitt Romney, with his trusted teleprompter at his side, formally introduced Paul Ryan as his running mate this morning in a speech filled with ridiculous falsehoods. But it was the very last line that's going to linger a bit.
If you watch the very last five seconds of this clip, you'll see Romney say, "Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan."
Now, verbal slip-ups happen to everyone. Romney's not a great speaker; he's probably tired early on a Saturday morning; and maybe the speechwriters who tell the candidate what to say flubbed the text in the teleprompter. Romney has made mistakes far more offensive than this one.
But the reason this blunder will resonate is because it speaks to a larger truth: it's Ryan who Republicans will be excited about and it's Ryan who has the vision the ticket will run on.
All of a sudden, the race isn't about President Obama or Bain Capital or the Olympics or the culture war -- it's about the guy Romney picked as his running mate, whom he accidentally introduced as the next president.
Incidentally, I'll have a more detailed take on Romney's speech once I get the transcript, but he very specifically tried to deflect the Medicare criticism that he and Ryan will receive by attacking Obama for "cutting" Medicare.
Even for Romney, this is brutally insane. For one thing, he's blatantly lying. For another, Ryan's budget plan includes all of the Medicare savings Obama found in the ACA. (You really shouldn't attack cuts then pick as your running mate the guy who embraced the same cuts.)
And finally, if Romney intends to make Medicare an important part of his message over the next three months, he's going to lose.