MILWAUKEE -- Conservatives are questioning Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign for using running mate Paul Ryan ineffectively. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker believes conservatives should stand for something and win elections and mandates based on their ideas. Gov. Walker says he believes Romney would be smart to let Ryan share more details in the final days of the campaign.
Gov. Walker is leading a growing chorus of influential conservatives who are perhaps feeling the election slipping away. These conservatives are expressing disappointment in how Ryan is being used in Romney's campaign. They're asking the Romney campaign to "unleash Ryan" and "let Ryan be Ryan."
"I'd just like to see more of the enthusiasm that I saw when the two of them were together early on. I think that's what Mitt Romney believes in, and that's what will draw people to Mitt Romney not only in my state, but in states across the country," Gov. Walker said.
Ryan is known as a detail-oriented policy wonk who can talk specifics on economics. Since Ryan's speech at the Republican National Convention, Ryan has only offered bland generalities on the campaign trail, and he has even been parodied on "The Daily Show."
UW-Milwaukee Professor of Governmental Affairs Mordecai Lee says conservatives want Ryan to get into specifics because they want the Romney campaign to stand for something specific.
"I think it's natural that Gov. Walker would become sort of this national spokesperson for 'let Ryan be Ryan' and 'let Ryan be very specific.' It's also natural for the pragmatists in the party and in Mitt Romney's campaign to say, 'Uh, do we really have to be that specific? Do we really have to alienate' -- and then a checklist of various demographics of who they'd alienate. 'Can't we be a little vaguer?' 'Can't we be generally conservative without being specific?' This happens in every major campaign," Lee said.
Romney trails in five separate polls that were released in Wisconsin last week.
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