BuzzFeed // John Stanton
Charlotte, NC – Rep. Chris Van Hollen, one of the Democrats’ rising stars in the House and a key voice on budget issues, will take the convention’s main stage in prime time to deliver a blistering critique of GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s budget plan, Democratic officials told BuzzFeed Monday.
The decision makes Van Hollen, 53, the party’s point person in taking on Ryan’s budget, and the Democrats preferred sparring partner for the Vice Presidential nominee, who would prefer to be seen as something bigger than a Congressional figure.
Van Hollen, who as ranking member on the House Budget Committee has plenty of experience jousting with Ryan, who is the committee’s chairman and the architect of the party’s controversial budget plan.
A spokesperson for Van Hollen did not immediately return a request for comment.
Democratic sources said convention organizers have brought Van Hollen in as a ringer of sorts, hoping he can use his deep knowledge of Ryan and his budget to beat down Republican messaging, particularly on its reforms to Medicare.
Democrats, particularly in the House, have been itching for a fight over Ryan’s budget and his selection as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee set off a flurry of attacks from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which Van Hollen has previously chaired.