Can Romney win the Medicare debate?
Weighing GOP candidate's strategy
- Duration 9:59
- Date Aug 20, 2012
Weighing GOP candidate's strategy
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Well you heard some of it in that town hall meeting Medicare.
It is traditionally a key democratic the issue now the Republicans are trying to take ownership of -- putting it center stage.
In the race for the White House this even as President Obama and his top aides warned seniors.
A key voting bloc.
The governor Romney and congressman Ryan in their words would gut Medicare.
Congressman Ryan weighed in just moments ago.
-- a little bit about Medicare lately from the president.
We want this debate we need this debate and we're gonna win this debate about Medicare.
David Drucker is associate politics editor at roll call so and you heard it there congressman -- saying bring it -- we wanna talk this debate we wanna win this debate camp today.
Well the only way John to actually win the debate like this is to be very aggressive and positive about it if you look defensive if you act like you don't -- -- talk about -- clearly not gonna win.
Know what has changed about the debate over Medicare as opposed to years past if you have the Affordable Care Act which Republicans refer to as Obama care even the president calls -- that.
And although this is disputed.
It's true that there is 716.
Billion dollars that is either take -- for Medicare or use in a different way.
But when the bill was being debated when it was pass and when we litigated this in the 2010 elections it was clear that seniors didn't like what was done.
In regard to Medicare to help fund obamacare to reform the health care system and so Republicans go in.
With a brand that works for them -- that seniors already don't like the Affordable Care Act.
By and large in that could it could give them a leg up in the Medicare debate going forward.
I just wonder about the confusion though because you know you have Mitt Romney.
And congressman Ryan there in New Hampshire today right now saying we're gonna strengthen Medicare.
Yet president -- -- -- there over the weekend saying hey I'm really the one who strengthens Medicare.
So if both charges both sides are are making similar charges.
Will ultimately who wins.
Well maybe it's a wash -- if it's a wash it means the Republicans don't lose and if they don't lose it means this issue.
Is a problem for them.
And it doesn't help the president -- he's running for reelection.
Well it gives the Republican team something to go on the attack about and if if you're on the attack that's generally a good thing in politics -- -- Well yeah I've looked -- you know the old cliche if you're explaining you're losing I don't always believe that I think you can't explain some things and come out on top I think the point here is that when everybody saw the Ryan pick.
The immediate the immediate speculation and I wondered about this myself was that Medicare is not a good issue for Republicans on top of that -- distract from jobs in the economy and therefore this is.
Potentially a big net loss for Republicans but I think what we've seen from the Romney campaign.
That was Smart if they're going to win is they were the first ones out with a TV ad accusing the president of gutting Medicare.
They've been hammering this every single day they have a brand name Obama care than a lot of voters a lot of seniors.
In Florida and elsewhere don't like and so it gives them a chance to to to to win the argument now clearly.
You know we've believed all along as soon as analysts of this campaign that if the president doesn't have to talk about jobs and the economy.
He's in a better position.
But there's also the idea that it is so baked indicate that people aren't happy that if you throw one other thing or two or three other things out there.
The people don't like me it just becomes a snowball effect against the president.
On the other hand maybe this allows him to remind people the Democrats are generally trusted to.
Strengthen and keep the social safety net alive and it puts Republicans on the defensive I don't think we're gonna know.
How this plays out until we get into the middle of September.
David Drucker who keeps a very close around politics is the associate politics editor at roll call David interest and thank you.
Thanks a lot you know -- it using it to continue look at some live pictures there Paul Ryan taking some questions from the crowd a crowd a few thousand people -- the campaigns at the first question.
That Paul Ryan fielded along with -- -- today.
Was -- about Medicare despite all the talk over the weekend about Medicare entitlements now this is a conversation we -- to have.
The question coming from the crowd was about debt and deficit and the economy.
And that's so we want to talk a little bit about as we move ahead -- about eleven weeks away from the election.
We are only a week away from the Republican National Convention it goes right on into the DNC so.
What are the questions that we're asking -- -- what about the plan for job creation when does that take.
Center stage again.
Chris -- fetus is a former chief of staff to senator Joseph mansion.
And run by -- is former communications director of the house speaker Dennis Hester we're gonna see him in a second as you get into camera so Chris what about that what about the campaigns going off on.
You're talking about Medicare and not talking about jock creation why.
What I mean it's -- it's an interesting strategy -- what is happening here is that the agenda changed.
Once the Republicans made the decision to focus on Medicare not listen personally from a -- and a Democrat perspective but just from -- you know strategist perspective I think it's boldly foolish because it's an argument.
That when you scratch the surface the Republicans don't have a good argument that that same thing they're criticizing President Obama for.
The -- sixteen billion dollar savings cost savings how to cut.
Right is the same thing that Ryan has in his budget so you start scratching past the surface of the rhetoric what you realize is they're gonna basically about dries -- program.
And -- lot of anxiety among seniors who are currently Medicare -- Even though we're going down the road again we're just replaying the conversation everyone's had a over the last weekend and no one's really asking for specific details about how we get -- back to the economy.
So you know should Democrats not indulge the Republicans in this in this conversation -- -- Democrats like the president.
Come out strongly in boldly with a very clear plan.
For the United States and what what the next four years gonna look like as far as growing jobs.
One I think in fairness the president's been out there talking pretty aggressively about the economy in what he plans to do when you're talking about for example in terms of tax reform.
And having reform that basically make sure.
That the top -- are paying their fair share and you structure the coats that basically allows the middle class.
-- tax cuts and that way you allow more money to go -- economy to create jobs.
That is talking about the economy.
When you're talking about addressing the deficit and the debt in a balanced way and that means revenues as well as savings and spending that is talking about the economy are -- -- job.
Let me out this Iran to come in here -- that is now joining us.
And Ryan what Chris said is this this conversation that.
Republicans are having on Medicare is in his words boldly foolish and he says the president is talking about job creation by talking about tax reform.
And tax policy.
What do you think Republicans should do should they remain in this conversation on Medicare or should -- release of the public in the last eleven weeks before the election -- health plan.
And job creation.
For all let me just say this I think it is a brilliantly -- -- speeches Smart politics for Ryan for -- Ryan team to do this.
Why because the Democrats are going to attack -- -- it anyway as soon as Paul Ryan was selected you're gonna go out from Medicare and instead.
We are that they campaign did what we call political jujitsu we took -- opponents energy and flipped it and now gone on the attack against.
President Obama's campaign and said look you're gonna take 700.
Billion dollars out of Medicare to pay for obamacare it's Smart to put them on the defensive and what they're doing our the next week or so is there are beginning to neutralize this issue -- Each car and -- and right now there's -- used to make that -- you got that -- Siemens shares had during the during the convention.
Rising right when you go to the convention that that is gonna switch out to jobs in the economy but what they have to do.
Is neutralizes the issue right now and they're doing an effective job over it and they know voters -- in the number one issue -- Of voters' minds are now as the economy but they also know that they want to keep the senior wrote.
In there they wanna keep it in the Romney camp and they don't want it to go away in fact Florida seniors it's approve a Mitt Mitt prove a Mitt Romney in approved Paul Ryan.
How far away to President Abbas.
Chris we knew about the now the Republican senate Fujitsu I'll tell us China a few years.
If it does say that's the move let's see -- right.
They're gonna switch back to jobs in the economy next week during the conventions.
The Democrats can sit back and and plan accordingly their next move Chris so what's your what do what do you think the Democrats are gonna go -- during that convention what's going to be the message.
I -- I think what you do is you you you point out I think the pathological hypocrisy of this ticket.
I mean here's what I think is so frustrating you know for the American people when you look at Romney right.
He will sit there and criticize Democrats about deficit and debt yet by his own budget they don't have any idea when about the budget gets balanced and the add trillions to the debt.
They talk about Medicare but the program actually guts Medicare they criticize the -- about stimulus and you learn Ryan.
Actually sent letters to sketch is constituents supporting the stimulus and so I think what you do is when you -- exposed the fact.
When you scratch past the surface you -- nothing new.
No new agenda no new.
Paul Ryan Kelly had placed second -- right quick final thought yeah the -- that we got three year period after years of watching the President Obama.
Did I give us a phony basically a phony administration.
We still have high unemployment we have high deficits we've -- Hi dad hi spending he has nothing to show -- voters are not do not feel better off today than they did for.
Better off today than -- You know did four years ago I had -- guy right there it's let's start -- -- that we got eleven weeks to get talked Gaza can talk details.
Top digits you all that steps we -- -- have you both back aren't you thank you.