Ryan hits Obama on Medicare, accusing his campaign of 'anger'
August 15th, 2012
10:14 PM ET
11 years ago

Ryan hits Obama on Medicare, accusing his campaign of 'anger'

Oxford, Ohio (CNN) – Rep. Paul Ryan on Wednesday called President Barack Obama's criticisms of his Medicare proposal a "distraction," and picked up a line from his running mate Mitt Romney that accuses Obama of running an election "based on anger and division."

"You see our payroll taxes from our paychecks are supposed to go to two programs: Social Security and Medicare, period. Now because of President Obama they're also going to pay for Obamacare," he said.

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"It's not right. He knows it. He can't defend it. And that is why he's resorting to this kind of distraction and an election based on anger and division," Ryan continued.

Ryan's proposal to change Medicare, which he has pitched as a way to prevent the program from going bankrupt, has became a prime target for Democrats after Romney introduced the House Budget Committee chairman as his running mate on Saturday.

In recent days, surrogates and supporters of Romney have stepped up their defense of Ryan, but the candidate has steered clear of addressing the issue at public events - until he took to this stage at Miami University of Ohio, his alma mater.

Some have suggested the issue could prove a liability among current Medicare recipients and those approaching eligibility.

Older voters typically vote in higher proportion than do younger voters, and they make up significant slices of the electorate in some key states such as Florida, where Romney took his campaign on Monday.

But instead of running away from the issue, Ryan urged his supporters to keep the debate alive.

"The president I'm told is talking about Medicare today. We want this debate. We need this debate and we will win this debate," he told cheering supporters.

"What I don't think he'll be telling people is that the president took $716 billion from the Medicare program, he raided it, to pay for Obamacare," Ryan said to boos. "The president's campaign says that this raid of Medicare to pay for Obamacare, which leads to fewer services for current seniors, is an achievement. Do you think raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare is an achievement?"

Voices in the supportive audience called out, "No," and Ryan responded, "Well, neither do I."

A Romney aide traveling with Ryan said the candidate crafting these remarks on his flight from Las Vegas to Dayton. Reporters could see him at one point standing in the aisle conferring with aides. Ryan was holding a couple sheets of paper with handwritten notes and lines crossed out.

The $716 billion figure cited by Ryan and other Republicans comes from a July 24 Congressional Budget Office report, which measured the impact of repealing the health care overhaul law.

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.

Romney suggests that to not repeal the health care law results in the opposite, a $716 decrease in Medicare spending – something the letter specifically says would not be the case.

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."

Obama, meanwhile, defended his record on Medicare in Iowa, saying Republican attacks such as Ryan's were false and that his rivals' proposals were unsellable.

"I think they know their plan's not very popular," the president said. "You can tell that because they're being pretty dishonest about my plan, especially by the way when it comes to Medicare. Now this is something I've got to point out here because they are just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks."

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.

His comments Wednesday about Medicare were some of his first on the topic as the GOP vice presidential candidate. Ryan focused on the economy and energy at a rally in a Denver suburb Tuesday, and later, at an event in Las Vegas, Ryan turned his attention to the housing crisis and Nevada's high unemployment rate.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Paul Ryan • President Obama
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. love344@tiscali.it

    and who fits the bill for ur healthcare, Ryan??

    August 15, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. n

    Ryan is not ready for the big dogs!

    August 15, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. Andrew

    So criticizing a proposal by the opponent about an important issue is a distraction?
    The GOP spent all day convincing people Biden was a racist by taking a comment completely out of context and Obama is the one distracting people?

    August 15, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  4. Howtie

    I notice Ryan and Romnie are using keywords such as "Anger" and "Hatred" in attempt to stir up anxiety, and fear in the public's mind, as these were often stereotypes of blacks & minorities in general, especially in the population they are catering to & also with elderly whites. Very Low.

    August 15, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. beau

    The Ryan choice is EXCELLENT
    Ryan has the courage to challenge Big socialist government programs like Social Security and Medicare.
    Politicians have been deathly afraid to challenge senior citizens on Social Security and Medicare because they are such a powerful voting block
    But Senior Citizens have been feeding at the government trough for too long.
    It's time Seniors learned that nothing is "Free" and that WELFARE FOR THE ELDERLY is no different from welfare for the poor.
    American seniors are just going to have to learn to save their money and rely on themselves in their old age.
    It's time to end the two biggest socialist programs in the federal government....MEDICARE and SOCIAL SECURITY.
    And the Romney/Ryan team is the ones to do it.
    You are going to pay your way now old people, no more free lunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    August 15, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  6. ozonator

    "Anger" is from the extremist crowd who tried to talk down London's summer Olympics. This is less and less leading from behind and more bullying.

    August 15, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. Smalltowner

    LOL........There is anger alright..."In the House of Anger controlled by the tea party"

    August 15, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  8. NikoEsquire

    How do these so-called religious people look at themselves in the mirror knowing that they are peddling lies? The sad part isn't that they are doing it; it's that people are gullible enough to believe it when the point has been shot down & refuted by every reputable fact checking organization out there. Paul Ryan, a man whose plan would destroy Medicare, is trying to pass off the flaws of his plan onto others. Funny how during the primary, Mittens went out of his way to embrace the Ryan plan. Now, he wants everyone to pretend that it did not exist. Another Etch-A-Sketch moment I guess...

    August 15, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Mack

    You don't have a leg to stand on voucher boy. Anger? President Obama is the coolest person in the room.
    While you were renaming a post office, he was giving the go signal to take out Bin Laden.

    August 15, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  10. beevee

    Who in the right mind even remotely thinks that this Ryan guy is an econmics wizard. Just look at his his academic qualification. An undergraduate degree from mediocre university not known for its academic excellence. He may have taken a few upper level courses in economics which hardly makes him an economic genius. I would not trust anything he says.

    August 15, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Theend

    Paul Ryan is a professional politician, multi-millionaire, trust fund baby whose family profited from government contracts who lives in a Georgian mansion... Look at Ryan's resume - political staffer, political speech writer, worked for a family construction company - he's never had a REAL JOB...

    August 15, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  12. DAVID

    "you see our payroll taxes from our pay checks are supposed to go to two programs social security and medicare period"! thats the biggest lie yet! these taxes have produced very large supluses over the years above the cost of the programs. the supluses have been borrowed from the account and moved to the general fund to pay for things like tax cuts to the rich and wars. George Bush jr borrowed all the supluses for all eight years in office to offset his wild spending habits. in just his last year in office he borrowed $674 billion from the account. the supluses were borrowed mostly by republican presidents. the total amount of money borrowed from the account in I.O.U.s is now at $2.4 trillion, if you don't think this is fact your on the net look it up for yourself! lie lie lie lie lie there getting bigger everyday! the only reason Ryan want to redo the books on social serucity is so the american people won't find out about the I.O.U.s. cooking books is something the right wing and their supporters are good at. remember wall street?

    August 15, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. Bootstomper

    Romney Ryan will never get elected period.

    August 15, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. Michael

    Yes, were are angry because, Paul Ryan and the 112th Congressional Republicans have introduced: 46 Bills on Abortion,113 Bills on Religion, 73 bills on family relationships, 36 bills on marriage,72 bills on firearms, 604 bills on taxation, and 467 bills on government investigations, but BLOCKED the American Jobs Act. Not a bad deal for those who only work 9 days a month for full pay and benefits! Lucky for us, they've made repealing Obamacare a priority for the 31st time again this week! THESE DO NOTHING CONGRESSMEN HAVE ONLY ONE OBJECTIVE IN THE LAST 4 YEARS THAT THEY RELLIED BEHIND! THAT IS MAKING PESIDENT OBAMA A ONE TERM PRESIDENT!

    August 15, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. MaryM

    wow, and the lies from the GOP Ryan keep on and on and on

    August 15, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    Anger and division? The GOP has re-invented the terms, with attempts to paint the President as " the other " and claiming that the Democrats were un-American ( as if cheering when the bid for the Chicago Olympics bid failed was an example of patriotism). No, its the GOP that has insisted on dividing and disenfranchising as much of the population as possible to make its dream of an impotent government a reality. The last time a Congress was as ineffective as this current one has been was 1948: remember what happened then? Dewey campaigned, assured he was on his way to the WH, but he woke up the next day to discover he was a 2-time loser. Get ready GOP, its about to happen again. You have nothing to offer this country( again).

    August 15, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  17. enuff

    Does he not remember that Romney originated the idea of the healthcare act? Ryan's medicare proposal sucks.

    August 15, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  18. george of the jungle

    if any one is angry it is the two repo clowns running for office. Both are liers and will say anything that pops into their heads. Their campaign is all over the map with lies and evasion and slamming the president with a different charge every day. Forward 2012

    August 15, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  19. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Ryan hits Obama on Medicare, accusing his campaign of 'anger'◄
    Really Ryan? – Those DUMB accusations are slithering like a salamander
    Just listen to the words the Republicans are using – “hatred” is their next spin
    And each and every one of them will say the word “hatred” and it would come from deep within

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    August 16, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  20. Here's a thought

    I'd rather be taxed to help those who will actually benefit instead of supplementing some big suits pockets.

    August 16, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  21. Just a Thought

    How can anybody support these LIARS ???? Since when did that become a favorable characteristic for president? Oh that's right....The moment the Tea Toilets tin foil hat wearing vapid ones showed up on the political scene...sorry, the dumbing down of america is now complete

    Seriously folks – Obama/Biden 2012 for those of us with any amount of intellect

    August 16, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  22. JimB

    Did anyone see Obama today? Did he look angry when he spoke with Mrs. Obama at a Iowa rally? He looked happy and radiant. The "anger" card was used by Palin and if there is something to be afraid of it's of an angry black man (then they talk of race baiting). It seems Romney/Ryan need to look at themselves. They are the ones that seem angry because their campaign is in shambles (can anyone explain the difference between Romney's and Ryan's budget? or their positions on Medicare?) Did anyone see how angry Mrs. Romney was today when a reporter asked her about releasing their tax returns? Romney is the one that always seems angry about something (and so phoney), and poor Paul Ryan looks so out of his league (thrown to the lions by a disorganized, confused and aimless campaign). You know campaigns are failing when they use words like hate and anger to describe their opposition.

    August 16, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  23. Anthony... proud tax payer

    Ive never sensed anger (or division) on the part of Obama. What he has stated were the unbalanced nature of things, in favor of the 1percent (which many of us are not). If you want to hate on Obama because he's actually trying to look out for the middle class (and most of you posters), then thats your decision, albeit not a wise one. Obama has been one of the most level headed, cool and calm Presidents in a long time. It makes Ryan and Romney look foolish when they accuse him of being angry. When the Republicans get called out for something, they always seem to project onto their opponent the exact same thing. Its weird. The commenters on these boards do the same thing. That old Karl Rove playbook. Or they repeat the lie long enough that they themselves start believing it.

    Anyhow.. every knows Ryans plan and what it does to Medicare(destroys it), that info has been floating out there long enough. Republicans might want to start focus on keeping their Senate and House seats at this point. The R&R ticket is toast. And just think.. Romney still hasn't gotten out of the woods regarding his taxes yet. That albatross around Mitts neck just keeps getting more and more rotten by the day.

    August 16, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  24. Will

    Anger? The Republicans has been angry every since Obama became President.

    August 16, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  25. California

    The Obama admiistraion has been nasty, anry, bitter little children and when they act that way you treat them that way, Like the children they are.

    August 16, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
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