Ryan steers clear of Medicare debate at rallies
August 15th, 2012
02:26 AM ET
2 years ago

Ryan steers clear of Medicare debate at rallies

Las Vegas (CNN) – Paul Ryan continued to go after President Barack Obama and defend Mitt Romney on Tuesday, but the Republican vice presidential candidate stayed away from the issue of Medicare that continues to dog the GOP campaign.

The Romney campaign stepped up its defense by responding to Democratic attacks on the issue with a television ad. Ryan was asked about the brewing debate in a Fox News interview, but otherwise steered clear at two public rallies, until he weighed in via Twitter.

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Ryan tweeted a link to the new ad with the message, "@BarackObama cut $716b from Medicare to fund Obamacare. We offer a plan to save, protect & strengthen Medicare."

Ryan's Medicare proposal has been hit hard by Democrats as a plan to gut the program, though Ryan has said it is necessary to keep the program solvent. In a Fox News interview, he said that Medicare is "absolutely" a winning issue for Republicans, "because we're the ones who are offering a plan to save Medicare, to protect Medicare, to strengthen Medicare."‬

The new vice presidential candidate focused on the economy and energy at his first rally in Colorado in a Denver suburb.

Later, at a rally in Las Vegas, Ryan pointed to the housing crisis and Nevada's high unemployment rate, well above the 8.2% national average, to push the argument against an Obama second term. He did not mention that the jobless rate in Las Vegas is even higher at 12.1%.

“Of all the places, of all the places that need jobs and for home values to rebound, it's Nevada," Ryan said. "The unemployment rate? I had to read this number three times. 11.6 % in Nevada. You deserve better than that. You deserve jobs in your economy, you deserve an America that's heading in the right direction."

He also accused the president of focusing more on his re-election than creating solutions to problems.

"We have a president who like a lot of people in Washington, are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation,” he said.

The 42-year-old House Budget Committee chairman defended his career choice as a member of Congress for 13 years, which is a career path his presidential running mate has been known to criticize.

"And like Mitt likes to say, he served as governor. He spent time in public service, but he didn't inhale," Ryan said, getting a rouse out of the audience. "Public service isn't all bad as long as you do the right thing of course."

- CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Paul Ryan
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. JPNAmerican

    lol that's funny accusing the President of focusing on his reelection and not his job while he himself along with the rest of congress is taking the entire month off

    August 15, 2012 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  2. Joe Oberman

    GOP favors allowing Big Businesses to outsource American workers for Foreign workers (The Hartford Insurance Co comes to mind, ask the Hartford employees that were laid off for Foreign Indian workers, I dare the news media to ask any of them what they think about outsourcing).

    GOP favors HIGHER TAXES on the middle class because they know the middle class is the largest group of US tax payers and they collect more money, from just this single group, than taxing the poor and wealthy combined!!

    GOP favors lower taxes and tax shelters for the wealthy.

    GOP will never pass the Equal Rights Pay bill, which benefits women receiving the same pay for the same work that men perform.

    GOP House (controlled the last two years of congress) failed to create new job for the millions of unemployed/laid off American workers because they are too busy trying to defeat Obama.

    GOP Favors privatizing Social Security by allowing Big Businesses to control your investments as companies did by changing company retirement plans into cheap 401k plans=ZERO RETIREMENT MONEY caused by ponzi schemers, investment brokers skimming off the top (yields earned) with grouped 401k plans your company invested to unscrupulous brokers, failed businesses, company mergers and company take over (Romney's Bain) that dismantled businesses.

    GOP favors the RYAN/ROMNEY Plan to eliminate Medicare with a voucher system, the voucher (is set at a FIXED rate) will loose value as medical inflation costs increase, leaving the patient to pay the remaining medical bill cost!!

    GOP= is totally against the middle class, period.

    August 15, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  3. Donkey Party

    So sick and tired of the lying, domestic terrorist GOP. America, wake up, the GOP is stoking a civil war, let's give them one.

    August 15, 2012 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  4. BrightStar

    With the pick of Ryan, Romney has probably handed Obama a second term while quite possibly flipping the House in the process.

    Vulture/Voucher 2012 The Losing Team

    August 15, 2012 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  5. Vote for Scumbag

    >>>Ryan steers clear of Medicare debate at rallies

    Go for it Paul, the Bishop is lying, he can help you not get caught.

    It is ok. Your are forgiven. You are doing it for a higher cause.

    August 15, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  6. Debbie

    Ryan is already on video about his Medicare plan and his love of Ayn Rand. Romneys already on video saying he agrees with Ryan's Medicare plan. Those younger than 55 will have a tough road ahead of them if the Ryan plan ever goes into effect: vouchers for insurance (good luck with that) and hoping their children will be willing to kick in the extra so they can get health care for what the voucher will not pay for. I was a Republican for 35 years, GWBush was the end for me, I am now an Independent. I had hoped the GOP would have regained their senses but instead they have moved further and more radically to the right. I did not vote for Romney as the 2008 nominee and planned on only voting the issues this time and not President. With Ryan in the mix I will vote for President and I will vote for Obama as my vote against Ryan, his Medicare plan, and his affections toward Ayn Rand. The Grand Old Party has expired and left in its place lunacy.

    August 15, 2012 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  7. once upon a horse

    the Romney campaign is very good at steering clear of debates they doubt if they can win on and would rather put out lies and distortions hoping the American people will just settle with that. It works with some people mainly the hard core right that weren't going to vote for Obama anyway but others are starting to see it for what it is. Thus Romney's lower polling numbers are the result.

    August 15, 2012 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  8. n

    Those spineless red devil, they are turning this naive young man into a lier, he is clearly a idiot block for his masters in the republican house of traitors to this great nation. His soul will now belong to the devil. Move along people, this guy is done.

    August 15, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  9. Stopthemadness

    Of course he does. He doesn't want the rest of the country to know how literally bent over a barrel his plan will put this country. They think by wiping out the middle class there will be more profit for them and their plans prove it.

    August 15, 2012 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  10. don

    It's time for Mini-Mitt to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Balance the budget in 2040? Are you kidding. That's not a plan. We know the GOP loves medicare and medicaid. And as long as we are telling whoppers, they also have the best interest of the middle class in their minds every day. Hope dinner with Sheldon went well last night Mini- Mitt Im sure he was impressed .

    August 15, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Two peas in a pod. The bu lly bishop wants to stay away from his business experience and pretend that he NEVER worked for bain or at least not when the you know what was hitting the fan.
    Now this "entitlement" vp nominee former altar boy is stayiing away from his budget because they now realize how horrible the idea was for seniors and the poor. NOW it's Medicare – before it was "entitlements". Social Security anyone?

    August 15, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  12. Are you kidding me?

    Why us he hiding from the truth? He is Another flipflopper. If he cannot stand on what he wants to do then why should Americans vote for him.

    Epic failure.

    August 15, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  13. CNN Fan

    Paul Ryan tried not to say about his Medicare's plan because he knew that GOP will lose...anyway, GOP will lose this election because they make middle-class and working workers dislike their policy and ideology..
    "You can hide, but you can't run away from the fact"....

    August 15, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  14. amlcpamaine

    What a coward ..............

    August 15, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  15. onlyfacts61

    Wow, everyday this guy is proving more and more that he is your typical far right liar who will say anything to the American people to get his team to win. Just like Palin, constant baseless generalizations.

    August 15, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  16. wgf

    It's a bad sign when a campaign refuses to discuss the primrary politcal position of its candidate. It's worse when that refusal follows pronouncements from the campaign that said politcal position was going to elevate the campaign debate.

    So exactly what is the Romney campaign willing to talk about ? From taxes, to entitlements, to experience at Bain, to where Spanish TV ads are going to be run, to what was purchased during a hardware store photo op, it's all just one big fricking secret. Apparently they feel that not being Obama is a sufficient qualification and reason to be President.

    August 15, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, is Ryan going to talk about everything he has proposed or just what will get him elected? The idea of being able to do enough in public service not to change you is just weird. How much is too much? To think one job or time won't change you is a falsehood because every experience changes a person.

    August 15, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |