Romney camp prepares Medicare defense after Ryan pick
August 11th, 2012
09:27 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney camp prepares Medicare defense after Ryan pick

Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - With Paul Ryan's controversial entitlement reform plan certain to take center stage in the presidential campaign now that the Wisconsin congressman has been tapped as Mitt Romney's running mate, Romney officials are circulating talking points about Medicare to their allies and campaign surrogates.

The Romney campaign is also briefing surrogates on a conference call at 10:30 a.m. ET to walk through their messaging about the Ryan pick and their strategies for rebuffing attacks from the Obama campaign.

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Here are the internal talking points about Medicare being circulated by the Romney campaign, provided to CNN from a Republican source:

Do you worry that Paul Ryan's controversial Medicare plan will hurt the campaign with independents?

– No. President Obama is the one who should be worried, because he has cut $700 BILLION from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, and put in place a panel of Washington bureaucrats to make decisions about what kind of care seniors will receive under Medicare. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a bipartisan plan to strengthen Medicare by giving future seniors the choice between traditional Medicare and a variety of private plans. They are committed to ensuring that Medicare remains strong, not just for today's seniors, but for tomorrow's seniors as well.

And here is the full spectrum of Ryan messaging being distributed to Republican by the Romney campaign:

Surrogate Message Points: Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan: America’s Comeback Team

Top Line Message: Why Paul Ryan

First and foremost, Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan because he meets the threshold test of being able to step in as Commander in Chief should he need to assume the responsibility.

Second, we all know that jobs and the economy is the number one issue to voters, and Paul Ryan understands the need for pro-growth economic policies and that massive debt is a drag on job creation. He brings energy and ideas of how to reform spending and bring about a balanced budget.

Paul Ryan possesses detailed knowledge of the federal budget. Under President Obama we have a record national debt, an unprecedented credit rating downgrade, and an utter failure to save entitlement programs for future generations.

The Romney-Ryan ticket will continue to put forward idea after idea on how to grow the economy and get spending under control. We are happy to compare our understanding and knowledge with President Obama’s failed record on jobs and financial control any day. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have proven records of solving problems, compared to this Administration's failed record.

Response to President Obama’s Attacks:

We all know that President Obama will continue to run a fear and smear campaign. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan bring new ideas about creating jobs and controlling the budget.

President Obama’s campaign has accused Mitt Romney of committing crimes and killing people, and now they are making false charges against Paul Ryan. They have lost all credibility.

Questions and Answers About The Romney/Ryan Ticket:

1) Does this mean Mitt Romney is adopting the Paul Ryan plan?

· Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.

· Romney’s administration will go through the budget line by line and ask two questions: Can we afford it? And, if not, should we borrow money from China to pay for it?

· Mitt Romney will start with the easiest cut of all: Obamacare, a trillion-dollar entitlement we don’t want and can’t afford.

· Mitt Romney also laid out commonsense reforms that will make good on our promises to today’s seniors and save Social Security and Medicare for future generations.

2) Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have different views on some policy areas – like Medicare spending, entitlement reform, labor, etc. – do you think those differences are going to hurt or help?

· Of course they aren’t going to have the same view on every issue. But they both share the view that this election is a choice about two fundamentally different paths for this country. President Obama has taken America down a path of debt and decline. Romney and Ryan believe in a path for America that leads to more jobs, less debt and smaller government. So, while you might find an issue or two where they might not agree, they are in complete agreement on the direction that they want to lead America

3) Do you worry that Paul Ryan’s controversial Medicare plan will hurt the campaign with independents?

· No. President Obama is the one who should be worried, because he has cut $700 BILLION from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, and put in place a panel of Washington bureaucrats to make decisions about what kind of care seniors will receive under Medicare. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a bipartisan plan to strengthen Medicare by giving future seniors the choice between traditional Medicare and a variety of private plans. They are committed to ensuring that Medicare remains strong, not just for today’s seniors, but for tomorrow’s seniors as well.

4) Paul Ryan doesn’t have military experience. Does that hurt?

· The ticket is no different that Obama and Biden. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan both respect members of our military who sacrifice so much to defend our freedoms.

· They share the view that America's leadership position in the world is based on a robust national defense, strengthened relationships with our allies and a philosophy of peace through strength.

Message Points: Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class

The recent recession is not the first time that America has suffered from a bad economy, but policy decisions made by President Obama made the situation worse.

After three and a half years of struggling in the Obama economy, middle-class families need more jobs and more take-home pay. Mitt Romney’s “Plan for a Stronger Middle Class” will help restore America as the best place in the world to find a job, start a business, or hire a worker.

In his first term as president, Mitt Romney’s plan will lead to a recovery that creates 12 million jobs and grows the economy on average by 4% per year.

His plan will work toward energy independence, ensure middle-class Americans have the skills to succeed, pursue trade that works for America, cut the deficit, and champion small business.

As President, Mitt Romney Will:

Encourage job creation, once again making America the best place in the world to start a business, invest capital, and grow

Increase domestic energy production and eliminate job-killing regulations, so that energy will be both affordable and more reliable

Give every family access to a great school, quality teachers, and affordable, effective higher-education options

Open new markets for American goods and services and strengthen free enterprise around the world

Eliminate barriers to job creation by reforming the tax code and lowering individual rates across the board

Repeal and replace Obamacare – a $1 trillion federal takeover of health care that will stifle hiring and increase premiums – with real reforms that control costs and improve care

Immediately cut spending and root out inefficiencies, making government smaller, simpler, and smarter – and less costly for taxpayers

President Obama’s Failed Economic Policies Have Devastated Small Businesses And Middle-Class Communities.

23 million Americans are struggling for work and we’ve endured 41 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent.

For those lucky enough to have jobs, the median income has fallen by $4,300 since he took office, and wages have declined in the past year.

The average price per gallon of gas is nearly twice as high as it was when President Obama took office.

Family health care premiums have increased by $2,393.

Half of recent graduates can’t find jobs that match their skill sets.

America has suffered through four trillion-dollar deficits as President Obama broke his promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Under President Obama, Deficit Spending Is Out Of Control:

President Obama promised he would “go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less, because we cannot meet 21st-century challenges with a 20th-century bureaucracy.”

President Obama has added more than $5 trillion to the national debt.

The real cost of Obamacare is still unknown, and the president’s own budget projects that total indebtedness will rise to $25.9 trillion by the end of 2022.

Each American household’s share of government debt and unfunded liabilities has reached $520,000 under this president, a debt that will be passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Governor Romney Has A Plan For Reducing The Deficit:

Lower federal spending to 20 percent of GDP within four years’ time – down from the 24.3 percent today.

Roll back discretionary spending levels to where Barack Obama found them in 2009.

Halt the expansion of government and repeal Obamacare.

Reform Medicare and Social Security.

Eliminate redundant federal programs and wasteful bureaucracy.

READ MORE: Democratic attacks on Ryan focus on changes to Medicare and Medicaid

Filed under: 2012 • 2012 VP Pick • Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • Virginia
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Patriot

    The G.O.P. can twist and turn and spin (as they do so well) Ryan's position on Medicare but Ryan has 'shown his cards' to informed voters far too often for us to fall for their nonsense. He is such a dangerous choice as VP that I personally will now move from being simply an Independent voter to now being an activist Independent, determined to do all that I can do to ensure the Republicans never see the White house again.

    August 11, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Aret

    Anyone out there got Bill Clinton's number? Either Mitt or Obama will make a mess. Mitt will only serve to undo Obama last four years as Obama has tried to fix Gov Bush's 8 year mess. Yank it all left, switch, yank it all to the right. Like a uncordinated dance, no balance. And people wonder why this country is such a pile of....right now.

    August 11, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. JimM

    Romney's rebuttal are taling points that have debunked many times. Yet no real denial of Ryan's plan.

    August 11, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. gep1955

    Before you go and start bashing Ryan's budget plans it's key to remember that Obama thus far has submitted three budgets to both houses. NOT ONE VOTE FROM ANY ONE OF THE 535 MEMBERS.

    August 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. John Christopher

    Catholic Bishops Say Ryan Budget Fails Moral Test
    Posted: 04/18/2012
    When the Chatholic Church calls what you're doing immoral what kind of person does that make you Mr. Ryan??

    August 11, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. G-Simms

    Politics as usual. People will fully understand who to vote for Nov 6 and it won't be these two clowns. Obama/Biden '12

    August 11, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. reginaldb6

    Welcome to the load of manure that is being put out now. Ryan wants to cut PELL GRANT to the point of elimination, they both want to increase more money for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor. They want to make social security private, they want to eliminate medicaid / medicare. The real question how many tax returns did Ryan have to submit? Mitt where your Taxes.

    August 11, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. myviewis

    Yeah!!!!! Paul Ryan has a BA in Economics!!!!!! Of course his not doing away with Medicare, how dumb can people get, it has been Obama getting his hands into Medicare and Medicaid and Welfare and anything else he can get his hands into to pay for women's abortions and birth control pills and all those that want to collect a check without having to work, all the lazy people that know how to work the system to get food stamps, cash without ever having to contribute to society. How do you think Obama is paying for Obamacare???????? Of course social security is not in any danger from Paul Ryan, the only chasing after Social Security is Obama to pay for those lazy bums that know how to work the system and ripped it off while the senior citizens haven't received their yearly increase in 3 years!!!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Memo to Mr. Romney: Ryan's Medicare policy is undefensible. Congratulations on the happy union of the far right and the extreme right. The moderates were fleeing in droves as you spoke. Another thing, Mr. Romey, you should have read Ayn Rand's misanthropic political ideas before falling for Ryan's pretty face. The atheist, hate-everyone-author is Ryan's idol, but you didn't know that, did you? As a woman, educator and parent I thank you with all my heart for helping President Obama continue his efforts for a better world.

    August 11, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Dan Haney

    Why would Romney Camp have to defend Ryans proposal on Medicare cuts if there was no problem with what he proposed?

    August 11, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Clint

    If these 2 clowns get in, the Seniors and the Middle Class can kiss its collective butt good-by.

    August 11, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Two Puppets

    I know republicans are a little slow, but you see, the Affordable Health care bill may take 700 million away from medicare but everyone still has the same coverage under the new program with no extra cost... Ryan plan doesn't have that built in... What it does have is people getting out of the program and relying on an independant group to keep covering them... the private insurance sector has already shown they will cut benefits when it get to be too expensive.. elderly will be dying from lack of medical insurance... But Ryan and Mitt don't get that part.. they think all people are millionairs who don't need insurance.

    August 11, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Controversy

    This should be an interesting upcoming election!

    August 11, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Bill from GA

    Paul Ryan voted for Medicare Part D, the Prescription Drug Plan, which is a major contributor to the Medicare insolvency coming so soon. A leading factor in the waste in the program is that Medicare cannot bargain over drug costs, specifically written into the law. Big giveaway to drug companies.

    Now, he wants to 'save' Medicare by making it useless to a large number of seniors.

    August 11, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |