Democrats tie Republican candidates to Ryan plan in competitive races
August 14th, 2012
03:14 PM ET
10 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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ryan has voted against the best interests of the American people his entire political career, and all he has to show for it is millions of dollars in his bank accounts.

    August 14, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. rs

    This is where picking Mr. Ryan might not have been the best choice. Invoking Social Security and Medicare "changes" as radical as Mr. Ryan's in any election is a losing position. By selecting Ryan, and his plan, the GOP stands to lose the elderly vote- and rightly so. Giving up the social safety net so that people like Mr. Romney, and the super wealthy get to pay only 0.84% on their investment income is obscene and completely immoral. If those are Republican's values, they are deeply disturbed people.

    August 14, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens chose Ryan so that if craziness wins out, and he was elected, he could get his own tax rates even lower. Ryan is a part of the same congressional do nothing body of government that is basking in 7% approval.

    August 14, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |

    Do a Google search of Erskine Bowles (a Democrat and former Pres. Clinton's chief of staff) and see what he has to say about Paul Ryan and his budget plan. And make sure you listen to the whole video where he expresses dismay over Obama's lack of leadership on fiscal and economic issues.

    August 14, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Lionel

    Ryan was not a good choice. He cannot say now that he did not mean what it says in his budget plans.

    It does call for radical changes to Medicare and Social Security.

    He is a career politician and has spent all of his working career in Washington. An insider who is now a millionaire.
    Let's vote to give more tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.

    August 14, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I am thinking that McCain made a better VP choice than Mittens did. Mittens has been wrong on Arizona immigration, ACA, the London Olympics, foreign policy, his personal government bailouts, taxes, Detroit, TARP, Wall Street, and now the most important decision in his campaign.

    August 14, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    I hate robo-calls. I think that there is nothing too little to gain and far too much you can quite eaisly lose by putting out negative robo-calls. Most of the time a person is going to not react positively to just the initial fact of a robo-call interupting their daily lives. Once they hear the content going negative, the reaction cannot go uphill.

    August 14, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Bill

    Mittens will rue the day he chose this clown Ryan as his running mate.

    August 14, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. n

    Don't let up now that the republican party is on the ground, kick em and kick em again and again and yet, again! Sorry, got a little carried away.

    August 14, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. BlkPwr817

    Romny/Ryan is Bush 2.0 – Same ol' same. We've been this way before. Didn't work then, wont work now...

    August 14, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Steven

    At least he's got a budget...the incompetence of the current administration is breath-taking. They are the epitome of "I can't be overdrawn, I still have checks!" mentality, and yet want more in taxes without justifying where it will be spent. All on FODs, I'm sure...

    August 14, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. mcskadittle

    screwing with medicare will sink you

    August 14, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. rs


    But what people like you either don't understand, or simply prefer to to twist is that the creation of the U.S. Budget is a function of Congress. The same Congress where Republicans fixate on birth control bills in the House, of simply prevent reaching a vote in the Senate through the filibuster. The President has proposed budgets each and every year. The GOP has simply decided to obstruct all activity.

    As for Mr. Ryan's plan- there is no defending it from the charge that it is "radical Right-Wing social engineering" (Mr. Gingrich's quote). If Republicans are afraid of it what about those whose lives will be directly impacted?

    As I have said before- a party that will willing unravel the social safety net to give rich folks bigger tax cuts is immoral.

    August 14, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Jon

    I sure hope that the DNCC continues with the Robo calls ... I am sure that by the time they finish they will tick off enough people to insure the Repbs get re-elected

    August 14, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. cali girl


    August 14, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. rs

    Steven- at least they don't want to make the problem worse by further reducing federal revenues by giving the rich even more tax cuts.

    August 14, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. bb

    Dumbocraps, radical change is what is needed due to your lazy bu$$s drawing welfare and not pulling your weight. Try to keep up Oblundercare wants to give everyone insurance but have only people who work pay for it. Im tired of paying people who have kids who cant afford them, if you cant afford it dont breed. Deomocraps like keeping people on welfare to control them. This country was built and raised by people being successful, not lazy welfare crooks like Oblunder wants to see. LETS SEE OBLUNDERS STUDENT LOANS DONT SAY FOREIGN AID ON THEM. Wake up this guy is worse than carter and uglier

    August 14, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Steven – Not sure where you heard that, but right wingnuts do seem to be reality challenged.

    August 14, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Ray E. (Georgia)

    So what are we talking about? Could it be common sense versus Trillions of dollars in spending money we don't have. Could it be borrowing 40 cents of every dollar tehy spend? Could that be it? If so i will take Ryan's plan every time The other plan is total bankruptcy. And then it's every man for himself. When the country is Totally Broke who will you Mooch on? There hasn't been a Budget passed since Obama's been in office.

    August 14, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republican President George W. Bush was not qualified to carry President Jimmy Carter's jock strap. Republican national debt $12 trillion, 8 million jobs lost in W's last three years, W slept through 9-11, unfunded wars, unfunded drug programs, market dropped from 14,000 to below 7000, $4.50 a gallon gas in the summer of 2008.

    August 14, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |

    "But what people like you either don't understand, or simply prefer to to twist is that the creation of the U.S. Budget is a function of Congress."

    And what happened to the last two budgets that Obama submitted? They were voted down 97-0 and 95-0, respectively by the DEMOCRAT controlled U.S. Senate.

    August 14, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Will right wingnuts acknowledge that $2 trillion of our debt is from unfunded wars, another $2 trillion from tax cuts for the wealthy, $500 billion from oil subsidies. We are not broke, but the GOP tried their best.

    August 14, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. riptin

    I just can`t see anyone other than the rich going to the polls and saying I`m going to vote for this guy cause he will take away my SS my medicare and medicaid. What are these people thinking, that the middle class (whats left of it) is just plain stupid. Thats the only conclusion I can come to.

    August 14, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC


    I sure hope that the DNCC continues with the Robo calls ... I am sure that by the time they finish they will tick off enough people to insure the Repbs get re-elected
    I think negative robo-calls are a non-starter. You will lose out on far more than what you might gain with negative calls.

    August 14, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. R.I.P. Damon

    I just read several news stories about how Ryan's approval rating has dramatically increased since Saturday's VP announcement...we'll see how effective this little ploy is.

    August 14, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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