August 14th, 2012
09:02 AM ET
9 years ago

Campaigns spar over Ryan vs. Romney plans

(CNN) – Surrogates for Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama argued Tuesday over just how similar Romney's budget plan was to the plan offered by his new running mate Paul Ryan, which proposes major changes to Medicare.

Speaking on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Romney campaign national co-chairman John Sununu stressed that Romney, as the name on the top of the GOP ticket, was guiding the budget his campaign is proposing, but that elements of Ryan's House GOP budget proposal – including the Medicare provisions – would be included.

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"The nominee is Mitt Romney. Paul Ryan joins Mitt Romney. The budget plan, the approach on Medicare and all of that, is going to be the Romney plan," Sununu said. "What he has is a man as his number two who understands the details of budgets who has demonstrated a willingness to take on tough issues and who knows how to communicate with the public."

Ryan's proposals, first introduced in 2011, include the provision that Medicare-approved private insurers would one day compete with traditional Medicare on an exchange. The proposal would not affect Americans over age 55. The plan's opponents say that would increase the financial burden on senior citizens.

On his website, Romney says Ryan's Medicare proposal "almost precisely mirrors Mitt's ideas," which include repackaging Medicare spending "as a fixed-amount benefit to each senior that he or she can use to purchase an insurance plan."

At a press conference in Miami Monday, Romney was asked to address the similarities and differences with Ryan on Medicare.

"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."

Sununu on Tuesday pointed to one difference between the two plans, saying Ryan's budget included a provision from Obama's plan that Romney would exclude.

"For example, when Obama gutted Medicare by taking $717 billion out of it, the Romney plan does not do that. The Ryan plan mimicked part of the Obama package there. The Romney plan does not. That's a big difference," Sununu said.

The $717 billion figure derives from a Congressional Budget Office evaluation from July 24, which measured the impact of repealing the health care overhaul law known by many as "Obamacare."

The report says that under the repeal measure, "Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013-2022 period." Those spending increases would be a result of more spending on hospital and medical insurance, offset by a decrease in prescription drug coverage.

The letter also notes that the projected $716 billion increase in Medicare spending if the measure is repealed does not signal a $716 billion decrease if the measure stays in place - which is Romney's argument.

David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Obama's re-election campaign, said on Tuesday that Sununu wasn't "talking straight" on the connection between the Romney and Ryan plans, pointing to the presumptive GOP nominee's own remarks in Miami.

"Yesterday Gov. Romney was asked to lay out some of the differences and he couldn't do it," Axelrod said, adding that Romney himself had indicated approval of Ryan's budget in the past.

"In terms of whether Ryan, what role he will play, I can only tell you that Gov. Romney said that he is the intellectual leader of the Republican Party," Axelrod said. "That suggests a much larger role. When you look at their proposals side-by-side, they are really quite similar."

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Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Maxx

    Romney running away from Ryan already. Great pick Mitt – for Obama.

    August 14, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |

    How does the Gop have so many losers in one party ,no wonder they call it the Gop bafoons party ,now they have a tax chest for president and a hot dog car driver for vp. Where's your tax returns romney ??????

    August 14, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. myviewis

    The major change so far to Medicare are the $500 billion dollars President Obama took from Medicare to pay for Obamacare and the reason Democrats are not complaining of President Obama taking this money from Medicare is because they think they will be getting Free medical from Obamacare by Medicare paying for Obamacare. Otherwise, if Democrats didn't think they would be getting Free medical they would be complaining about the $500 billion dollars. Democrats ignore things when they think it will bring them something Free.

    August 14, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. ObamaCares

    Roma's campaign just runs in these same circles, like a crazy dog chasing his tail, he is the perfect example of insanity.

    August 14, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. GI Joe

    Bush/Cheney = Cheney/Bush

    Romney/Ryan = Ryan/Romney

    Ryan didn't think he could stand the scrutiny of the primaries, and Mitt's ego wouldn't let him stay out of them.

    August 14, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. Kenny K

    GOP passed the so called budget. Romney may want to distance himself from the GOP on the budget, however, he has already chained the architect of the budget (Ryan) to his own neck. Ryan will be the face of the ad with Romney stand right there.

    August 14, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. GI Joe

    Norquist (married to a full-fledged, publicly practicing MUSLIM), could never get "selected" by the republicans or elected by the Ind. and Lib., so he just needs a sock puppet to sign his bills. He made a public statement saying all he needs is someone to sign the bills into law.

    I'm surprised Ryan bought into this scam on the American people.

    Shame on ALL of them and anyone who votes for a "secret" (hidden in plain sight) dictator like Norquist.

    August 14, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |

    I see that the back-pedaling by Romney has already begun. No surprise there.

    August 14, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  9. Tree

    He is a foolish old man......... that needs to belong to something. And that something is not nothing........go away.

    August 14, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Ferret out the B.S.

    If the Republican Candidates lips are moving, then they're lying. I haven't heard one truth out of their mouths concerning the President since the President took office.

    August 14, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. GI Joe

    P.S. the fact that he is married to a MUSLIM should have no affect on any of this, but I want Michelle Bachmann and you others to stop calling the President names that are meant to be derogatory coming from her and other republicans.

    This country was formed based on freedom of, for, and from religion. I'm sick of the crud that gets spewed against our half-white President. But hey – Romney is half-Mexican. So keep belittling them too. They are humans the same as us.

    Just stop the HATE AND LIES.

    August 14, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. Mikey

    Didn't Romney say he would sign the Ryan plan into law if he was elected an it came accross his desk? So, let's see. His plan is very similar to Ryan's. He said he would sign Ryan's plan into law. He picked as his VP candidate the guy most tied to what can be called the centerpiece of the GOP legislatures fiscal philosophy.

    But he wants to distance himself from the Ryan plan? Just more wimpiness from Mitt the Twit. For about 24 hours, it seemed Romney had grown a spine... but, it was Ryan's.

    August 14, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. livingston

    The republicans want everyone over 55yrs old to vote for them because they say not to worry about medicare because it will be the same as always for us. Well, what if I'm not willing to throw my children under the bus with a 'voucher' that will not cover anywhere near what health-care will cost? Health-care companies will compete for your business you say? Well, they are supposed to be doing that now what with the whole free enterprise system. So how is that working out for you? No company will willingly insure anyone over 65 given the increased health care cost involved in aging. And where do you put the people, some of them newborns, who are disabled? How do you think a 'voucher' will work out for them? Medicare may not be perfect but lets not replace it with something that we know will hurt people.

    August 14, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. GI Joe

    Name-calling and lies have to stop. I'm really getting angry. Make you happy? So be it. I'm not prejudiced, don't lie, and I don't incite violence against anyone..

    August 14, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. Credibility

    There is virtually no difference between Romney and Ryan's position. It is more tax cuts for the wealthy off the backs of seniors and middle class Americans.

    August 14, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Campaign spars over Ryan vs Romney?"

    Sorry, GOPers. All the whitewash in the world isn't going to turn Paul Ryan into any thing but the Washington insider he is, nor can any of you - try as hard as you will - move his God awful Budget Plan to the back burner of political discussions. It isn't just his plans for Medicare, you know. There are the huge tax cuts for the rich. Privatizing Social Security. The absurd defense budget giveaways to defense contractors. All of which will be unfunded, because Paul Ryan isn't exactly the fiscal hawk folks are supposed to think he is. Indeed, he voted for ALL of GW Bush's giveaways back in the day. Fact is, Ryan's Budget is more the same GOPer ideology that - for whatever reason - ALWAYS brings us to the point of disaster financially. Shredding the entire safety net of hundreds of millions of Americans isn't going to ever balance the budget. Nor is continuing the tax cuts for the already filthy rich.

    So, Sununu. You don't pick a candidate toting a very unpopular Budget plan already passed in Congress ... and then try and whitewash the folks into thinking this isn't EXACTLY the direction your candidate for President is leading the party.

    Mitt Romney did tell us recently that he isn't concerned about the very poor. They have a safety net. What he forgot to mention was his personal pick for V.P. is willing and ready to shred to pieces those very safety nets of which Romney was discussing.

    Oh, and by the way. If Romney was going to introduce his own budget, I rather doubt he'd have Ryan on the ticket. Conflict of interest within the ticket isn't exactly a winning ticket to run on nationally.

    August 14, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Credibility

    The Romney-Ryan plan keeps the same $700 billion cuts and then charges seniors $6K more a year to turn their Medicare into a disastrous voucher system.

    August 14, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. American People

    The American People want to see Mitt's tax returns for the last 20 years to see how he cheats and his tax rate. We also want to know how many jobs he off-shored and how much money he has in off-shore accounts evading taxes.

    August 14, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. GI Joe

    $$$$$ dd NOT go from medcare to the ACA.

    There was a lot of fraud and waste cut (some of those $$$$$), and hospitals will get less from Ins. Companies (some of those $$$$). The states complaining about all the new "RULES" will pay 2.8% (that's 2 point 8) more than they do now the expand medicaid for poor people (instead of states paying 100% for uninsured).

    If you can't handle the truth, go back and make your snotty remarks on FOX.

    August 14, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  20. CNN Fan

    ....On his website, Romney says Ryan's Medicare proposal "almost precisely mirrors Mitt's ideas,".....
    Romney choose Paul as VP but opposed Paul's idea? that is ridiculous....haha....Romney is so poor to make a choice....I don't understand what he is doing....he likes someone that he dislikes his idea?..or he likes someone because someone pushed him to do? all his choice are decided by someone else? how can he be a President that don't make any decision by his own? why Americans need someone like that as a President?..haha that so funny,....

    August 14, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. Rosslaw

    Only right wingers could pretend that Mittens' "plan" and Ryans "plan" actually have anything to do with mathematics as we know it on this planet. Neither plan adds up or explains how they pay for themselves, which they will not do and then right wingers can act surprised when the deficit explodes once again under their dysfunctional management.

    August 14, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  22. Sniffit

    Running scared from the Pathology of Plutocracy's CouponCare Crapshoot...


    August 14, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |

    R&R embrace cutting the social safety net. They say otherwise, but their budgets don't lie. Numbers don't lie! They don't intend on preserving Medicare or Social Security. All they want to do is privatize everything so we'll have an oligarchy. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class is dessimated. Funny how these sons of PRIVELAGE are trying to relate to middle class people when they've never been in the middle class.

    August 14, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. Marty, FL

    Sununu is sadly lying again after previously stating Romney endorses Ryan's plan, which includes privatizing Medicare and the keeping the same $717 billion cuts in place.

    Sununu's own words:
    “Mitt Romney supports what Paul Ryan did. He endorsed what Paul Ryan did."

    August 14, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. GI Joe

    I don't intend to grit my teeth and put up with another republlcan lying every day for the next 4 or 8 years like we were forced to do when W was selected.

    I've had it with them. They lie to stay in practice.

    August 14, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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