The Romney argument for jettisoning President Obama goes in two steps. First, the economy stinks and we need to do something new.

The second is the economy stinks and Obama’s answer — venture socialism/crony capitalism — shows his lack of understanding of the free market. Hence this ad:

For the second step of his argument, he got some help from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in a House Budget Committee hearing that began like this:

The crony capitalism part of the message is useful both on defense (counterpunching on Bain) and on offense, as an indictment of the president’s economic stewardship. It also happens to frame an argument for a different kind of “fairness.”

As Ryan says:

It’s helpful to look at the track record of this bipartisan idea that government is smarter and better at picking winners and losers in the marketplace. What we have learned from this bipartisan approach is that corruption does occur, cronyism does occur, and what ends up happening is those who are connected, those who have established connections, those who know the ways of Washington end up usually getting the benefits. We end up erecting barriers to entry that protect established, connected businesses, which necessarily comes at the expense of tomorrow’s entrepreneur. That makes it harder for people to rise. . . .

What we’re saying is the same rules apply to everybody, so that you — based on your own merit, your own God-given talent — that determines success. Our goal in America is to advance the starting line so that we can promote equal opportunity so people can make the most of their lives instead having Washington pick and choose winners and losers.

Well, that also happens to be a good argument for Ryan’s selection as VP. He already knows the message and can articulate it as well as anyone.