As Democrats and Republicans seek to define Mitt Romney's newly-minted running mate Paul Ryan, the impact from his selection is far from clear. But more than other running mate choices would have been, the issue of Ryan's entitlement reforms have become a major an issue for Republicans to deal with down-ballot -- particularly in states and districts with a high concentration of seniors.
Here are some of the notable Republican Congressional and gubernatorial candidates that have kept some distance from Ryan:
New Mexico GOP nominee Heather Wilson: Democratic nominee Martin Heinrich came out swinging after the Ryan announcement -- his campaign put out a statement saying that "The Paul Ryan budget is an extreme proposal that would end Medicare as we know it, increase health care costs for seniors, and devastate New Mexico's national labs." And Wilson didn't exactly embrace the presumptive VP nominee. "Paul Ryan and I served together and I've always found that he's a decent, honest and smart man," Wilson said. "And I admire his willingness to put forth bold ideas on big issues, even if I don't always agree with him."
Montana Senate nominee Denny Rehberg
: National Journal
's Billy House touched on
Rehberg, who voted against the Ryan Budget, in his look at GOP candidates on defense after the announcement.
House notes that Rehberg praised Ryan as a public servant, and said he appreciates "his character, intelligence, and creativity -- not only on the vast majority of issues on which we agree -- like controlling government spending, developing our natural resources, and providing tax relief for families and job creators -- but also on the few occasions where we haven't."
Connecticut Republican candidate Linda McMahon
: After Democratic candidate Chris Murphy
sent out a press release asking "which parts of Congressman Ryan's plan does she support," House reports that McMahon spokesperson Corry Bliss
said McMahon "will never support a budget that cuts Medicare."
Massachusetts 6th District GOP nominee Richard Tisei
: Rep. John Tierney
's challenger issued a statement after the Ryan pick was announced: "Congressman Ryan, whether one agrees with him on every issue or not, is a serious politician who sees our country's economic problems in clear terms," he said. "I don't agree with him - or anyone else - on every single issue."
New Mexico 1st District nominee Janice Arnold-Jones
: "I believe that this will be a good thing for the state of New Mexico," she said
on the Ryan pick. "A little frightening on the lab side, but I intend to go and advocate for the state of New Mexico."
New York 27th District GOP nominee Chris Collins
: Rep. Kathy Hochul
's challenger, in an interview this weekend, declined to weigh in on the Ryan budget. "I'm not going to get into a discussion now about a budget that may be passed next year with a new president and new Congress," Collins said
. "I'm not going to go back and relive any proposal in the past because they are in the past. All I'm saying is that I'll never support cuts to Medicare for current seniors or anyone close to retirement age, including Medicare Advantage, which my opponent has actually voted to cut."
Illinois 13th District GOP nominee Rodney Davis
: Last week (prior to Romney picking Ryan), Davis said
that he "never said that I support the Ryan budget in its entirety at all." He added that it has "some laudable goals that I hope... when I'm elected to be able to address."
North Carolina GOP nominee Pat McCrory
: Just McCrory in this category so far. Romney and Ryan campaigned in North Carolina Sunday. When asked about the Ryan plan, McCrory answered
, "I'm going to support the Romney plan." On Saturday, he said he wouldn't get into specifics, noting, "I'm running for governor, not Congress."