Smith says Romney selected Ryan over the objections of his top advisors. Many of them are taking great pains to distance themselves from the selection.
Romney's aides have stressed publicly in the 24 hours since Romney electrified conservatives with his choice that the pick was the governor's alone. They have been less forthcoming on the flip side: That much of his staff opposed the choice for the same reason that many pundits considered it unlikely — that Ryan's appealingly wonky public image and a personality Romney finds copasetic will matter far less than two different budget plans whose details the campaign now effectively owns.
"Everybody was against [Ryan] to start with only Romney for," said one top Republican, who is skeptical of the choice and griped that Romney's top advisors have "been giving Mitt everything he wanted in this campaign."
Another Republican in conversation with the campaign — though not a member of the inner circle of Romney advisers — said the early skeptics tended to be the political professionals, including consultants Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, and pollster Neil Newhouse, while (Beth) Myers, foreign policy advisor Dan Senor, and ultimately Romney himself favored Ryan. (Those involved declined to shed light on the campaign's most confidential conversations; and others, including Myers, disputed that characterization; she said Saturday she kept her opinion to herself.)