Obama, Sen. Paul battle in weekly addresses
August 25th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama, Sen. Paul battle in weekly addresses

(CNN) - President Barack Obama battled with Sen. Rand Paul during their weekly addresses Saturday, with the latter describing it as "a war ... for the heart and soul of America."

Obama contrasted the views of Republicans and Democrats on Medicare, saying Republicans wanted to "turn Medicare into a voucher program" and "effectively end Medicare as we know it."

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Paul, meanwhile, described the struggle as "a war between those who believe in the American Dream and those who cannot grasp what makes America great."

He portrayed his argument as one above politics - saying "the enemy is not Barack Obama or the Democrats" - yet went on to argue "the president has failed to lead."

"Even in an election year, I've offered to work with the president," Paul said. "I've called and written. I've ridden with the president on Air Force One and offered to help him build bridges, to repair our nation's infrastructure.

"But I've received no answer," he continued. "The president is missing in action. While America flounders, the president campaigns."

The enemy, Paul said, is a failure among Washington politicians to follow the Constitution, budgeting laws and Congressional rules. "The enemy is our lack of being bound by the restraints of the Constitution," he said.

Obama used his remarks to push back against Republican criticism that he has raided Medicare, as well as hit Republicans over their proposals for the program.

"As part of the Affordable Care Act, we gave seniors discounts on prescription drugs and made sure preventative care like mammograms are free without a co-pay," Obama said.

He argued his impact on the program includes "getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system and reining in insurance companies - reforms that won't touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits."

But, he continued, "Republicans in Congress have put forward a very different plan. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program."

Obama charged that "one plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for the same benefits they get now."

But that number, which his campaign used in a recent television advertisement, refers to the first Medicare plan proposed by the Republican vice presidential candidate, who has since modified his plan. The independent fact checking website Politifact.com rated the claim made in Obama's TV ad as half true, considering that the plan was outdated but that Ryan's more recent proposal is not specific enough to be similarly evaluated.

Obama and Ryan, however, did find some common ground on the need to act urgently. Ryan said that the "Republic is under attack like no other time in our history," while Obama called for the parties to "strengthen and preserve [Medicare] for future generations."


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Rand Paul
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Geoff

    Funny how the conservatives found fiscal responsibility at the same time Obama took office. Too bad they squandored a surplus that W. Bush inherited and turned it into the largest deficit ever. And this is the party that thinks they are capable of running our country? Better not get a republican president in there or else we'll be bankrupt!!!!!!!!!!

    August 25, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    GOP not only ends your Medicare, it ends SS too. Give TAX-BREAK to rich.

    August 25, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  3. wgf

    "Paul, meanwhile, described the struggle as "a war between those who believe in the American Dream and those who cannot grasp what makes America great.""

    Now there's a typical GOP statement. They believe they have a monopoly on patriotism, morality and the American Dream.

    August 25, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  4. w l jones

    The Republican wont a pre-1964 GI voucher plan where certain segiment could not get a GI loan all those they serve same as everybody else. They came up with you not making enough money yet staying in public housing cost more than the monthly home payment.loan. One word describe it all beware senior on voucher.

    August 25, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. T'sah From Virginia

    ►...the claim made in Obama's TV ad as half true, considering that the plan was outdated but that Ryan's more recent proposal is not specific enough to be similarly evaluated.◄

    If this is true, then Obama should continue to go by what his OLD PLAN is about because Romney, and now Ryan, is Etch-A-Sketching and Flip-Flopping as they go along in order to be accepted by the far-right. They are trying to cause “mass confusion” to prevent them from being evaluated. And if "that" is true, then that is all Romney and Ryan have going for themselves and THAT, is not TRUE AMERICA!!!

    The American people should keep Romney "on the right", where he thought he had to go in order to satisfy the TP and far-Right America; and also make sure Ryan stay there because that is his TRUE FACE – even though he is trying hard to move left. All in all, both of them are controlled by the Koch Brothers, Adelson-types, Big Oil Companies that wants NO REGULATIONS (Romney is proposing to drill all over the northern hemisphere – WHY? – so he can pay back the oil companies with tax breaks and subsidies), Big Corps and million/billionaires... In reality, they have NO INTENSIONS of helping the middle class…PERIOD, which they are trying to convey now.

    WAKE UP AMERICA – Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 25, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  6. cisco4

    Republicans were against Medicare in 1965 when Medicare became Law.. and a protection for seniors...No more cancel your health insurance when you got sick.. Like private Insurance liked to do to us before 1965... Lovely huh?

    August 25, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Darryl

    I like Pres. Obamas Medicare Plan better. The Ryan Plan is not a good plan period.

    August 25, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Ancient Texan

    Nope, Medicare will end on it's own in a few short years IF NOT reformed. Obama knows this but it doesn't fit his talking points.

    August 25, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Pete

    See Politifact can't check anything either of the Romney,Ryan health plan because there's nothing specific yet in their plans,just political BS,nothing more.Wait till the debates and time is fleeing for these rightwing extremist because none of their plans are in stone,just scribble on a stupid chalk board that can be erased and changed to whoever these crooks are pandering too.On Bill Maher show last night one of Romneys hand picked advisors was on and he didn't say much,just stepping in with some tidbits,again nothing to say specificly about any Romney,Ryan plan.But the members of Mahers panel did say that's their problem,republicans haven't a plan for anything,they're just out there against this president.You can't run against someone if you're only copying him with maybe just changing some words, but that's what Romneys doing with his energy proposal and more just copying,how intelligent,how original and did he get thru Harvard that way,just wondering!!!

    August 25, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. HenryMiller

    "effectively end Medicare as we know it."

    Medicare as we know it is going to end anyway in a few years when it goes bankrupt. The problem is that the Dems aren't honest enough with either the voters or each other to acknowledge that.

    August 25, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |