Democrats tie Republican candidates to Ryan plan in competitive races
August 14th, 2012
03:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Democrats tie Republican candidates to Ryan plan in competitive races

(CNN) – The House Democratic campaign arm is pouncing on the opportunity to peg Republican congressional candidates to Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and his controversial budget plan.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Tuesday it began making robo calls to 50 districts where they say incumbent Republicans are vulnerable in this year's elections.

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In the robo call, the automated voice reminds the listener that his or her representative voted for Ryan's GOP budget, a $3.5 trillion plan that would lower tax rates and cut spending, while reforming the Medicare and Medicaid government-run health care programs for senior citizens, the disabled and the poor.

"Hi. This is Julie calling from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to alert you to a new development about Medicare," the voice says, according to one of the scripts. "Your Congressman, Dan Lungren, voted for a budget that would end Medicare and now the budget's architect, Paul Ryan, is the Republican candidate for Vice President."

The voice then points to a report by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center that claims Ryan's budget would "raise health care costs for seniors by $6,400."

"And Congressman Lungren supported all of it. That's just wrong," the voice adds, encouraging the listener to call the representative and urge him or her to "stop protecting millionaires at the expense of Medicare and the middle class."

Ryan, however, contends that his plan would improve Medicare by offering vouchers to seniors so they can choose and purchase their own health care. Contrary to Democratic attacks, he adds that those currently over the age of 55 will not be affected by his proposal.

"My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida," he said Sunday in an interview with CBS News. "Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because government made promises to them that they've organized their retirements around."

Romney in turn has endorsed Ryan's budget plan in the past, but his campaign said it will not be adopting it as part of its platform. Asked Monday in a press conference, however, to name any differences between Ryan's plan and that of Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee did not go into details.

"We haven't gone through piece by piece and said 'oh, here's a place where there's a difference,'" Romney said. "I can't imagine any two people even in the same party who have exactly the same positions on all issues, but my plan for Medicare is very similar to his plan for Medicare."

Top Democrats predict the Medicare issue will become a complication for Republicans running for re-election. Now that Ryan is Romney's running mate, the controversial budget plan will likely jump to the top of debate topics this fall, forcing many House Republicans to defend their vote on the plan.

"From now until Election Day, Democrats will be on offense and in overdrive, seizing this golden opportunity to define the choice in this election: Republicans putting Millionaires over Medicare and the middle class," DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement.

In one Senate race, a Republican congressman has already distanced himself from the GOP over the issue. The Montana state Republican party released an ad in June praising Rep. Denny Rehberg for "refusing to toe the party line" by voting for the 2011 Medicare proposal.

Below is a list of districts in which the robo calls will run:

CA-07 Congressman Dan Lungren
CA-10 Congressman Jeff Denham
CA-36 Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack
CA-52 Congressman Brian Bilbray
CO-03 Congressman Scott Tipton
CO-06 Congressman Mike Coffman
FL-02 Congressman Steve Southerland
FL-10 Congressman Dan Webster
FL-13 Congressman Bill Young
FL-16 Congressman Vern Buchanan
FL-18 Congressman Allen West
FL-22 Adam Hasner
IA-02 John Archer
IA-03 Congressman Tom Latham
IA-04 Congressman Steve King
IL-08 Congressman Joe Walsh
IL-10 Congressman Robert Dold
IL-11 Congresswoman Judy Biggert
IL-12 Jason Plummer
IL-13 Rodney Davis
IL-17 Congressman Bobby Schilling
MA-6 Richard Tisei
MD-6 Congressman Roscoe Bartlett
MI-01 Congressman Dan Benishek
MI-03 Congressman Jason Amash
MT-AL Steve Daines
NC-07 David Rouzer
NC-08 Richard Hudson

– CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • House • Paul Ryan • Republicans
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. mgrgurich
    August 14, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. george of the jungle
    August 14, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Lando
    August 14, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. truth hurts
    August 14, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Marie MD
    August 14, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. The REAL Truth...
    August 14, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Sniffit
    August 14, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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