The top political committee responsible for electing Democrats to the House of Representatives passed along a memo sent to House candidates. The proposed strategy? Linking their Republican opponents to vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his proposal to overhaul Medicare, which he submitted earlier this year.
As House Budget Committee chairman, Ryan put forward a budget plan that would restructure the health care program for seniors by offering them a choice to accept federal subsidies to pay for health insurance through private insurance companies. The proposal made the young Wisconsin congressman a lightning rod for criticism on Capitol Hill. Republicans overwhelmingly voted in support of the plan, which passed the House but failed in the Senate.
Now, Democrats plan to try to use Romney's vice presidential choice to their advantage.
"[W]ith this one announcement, Mitt Romney gave us the national debate we've wanted," wrote Jesse Ferguson, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Now, the Medicare-ending Ryan budget is the ticket mate with every House Republican and Republican candidate running for Congress."
The memo goes on to outline a strategy for Democrats to play offense on Ryan's budget proposal.
Read the whole thing here:
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Jesse Ferguson, Communications Director
DATE: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
RE: 10 Days of Ryan — House Republicans Can't Escape Ryan Budget
Since April 15, 2011, when House Republicans passed the Ryan budget and voted to end Medicare, House Democrats have wanted this fight. In the 10 days since Paul Ryan was picked to lead the Republican ticket, we've gotten it and we're winning it.
Political analyst Stu Rothenberg: "Ryan's selection could potentially change the dynamic in the fight for Congress. It gives Democratic candidates nationally a potentially important narrative to appeal to swing voters."
House Republicans had done everything they could to make this election about anything other than the Ryan budget and their priorities to protect millionaires over Medicare and the middle class. But with this one announcement, Mitt Romney gave us the national debate we've wanted. Now, the Medicare-ending Ryan budget is the ticket mate with every House Republican and Republican candidate running for Congress.
Republicans on Ryan Budget: Politically Devastating. Republicans across the country are admitting that they can't escape the devastation a debate about the Ryan budget will cause for their chances this November.
· Former NRCC Chairman Tom Davis says Republicans are "watching and worrying" and "nervous" about the impact of Paul Ryan's budget that ends Medicare on Republicans chances this November. Davis goes on to say that Ryan's pick "raises some issues you wouldn't have had with another nominee."
· Former NRCC Chair Tom Reynolds compared the damage of Ryan's plan to end Medicare to George W. Bush's failed Social Security privatization efforts in 2005 that helped cost Republicans the Majority in 2006.
· Senator McCain's 2008 top political advisor, Steve Schmidt, confessed that House Republican strategists are "worried" about the impact of Ryan's budget after they lost a series of Republican-leaning seats in special elections over this issue earlier this cycle.
Democrats on Offense. On Friday, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel wrote to Democratic candidates across the country urging them to stay on offense on the Ryan budget and even to use Republican's own words against their opponents. The Ryan budget has seen bipartisan opposition—including prominent Senators like Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe—and now has Republican candidates across the country reeling and in disarray.
Why? Because they know it's a debate we win.
Democratic Message Wins. House Democrats have won special elections on the issue of Medicare. Just look at Democrats' special election victories in NY-26, a ruby red conservative district, and AZ-08 where Republicans held a seven-point voter registration advantage. The Ryan plan to end Medicare while protecting tax breaks for millionaires was a decisive, losing issue for Republicans. In both races, the Democrat won the battle because voters rejected Republicans who would end Medicare, while giving another tax break to millionaires. On the other hand, in the NV-02 special election was not a measure of the Ryan budget to end Medicare because the Republican candidate wasn't committed to the Ryan budget and the race wasn't competitive according to NV's own Jon Ralston.
The Ryan Budget Is THE Issue in Congressional Races. To see exactly how dramatically the Ryan budget is playing out in top tier races, take a look at the local news coverage from the last 10 days.
· Paul Ryan and Republicans May Affect Medicare in Montana [Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 8/19/12]
· Vice presidential pick spurring views [The Press Republican, 8/18/12]
· Ryan pick might put GOP House control at risk [The Kansas City Star, 8/18/12]
· Tierney rips Ryan plan on Medicare to Lynn seniors [The Daily Item, 8/18/12]
· State candidates: Ryan spotlights fiscal issues [The Poughkeepsie Journal, 8/18/12]
· Keith Fitzgerald blasts Vern Buchanan for supporting Paul Ryan's Medicare plan [The Bradenton Herald, 8/17/12]
· Collins is mum on Ryan budget [The Buffalo News, 8/17/12]
· Tampa Bay Dem US House candidates seize on Paul Ryan [Tampa Bay Times, 8/17/12]
· Ruiz links Bono Mack to Ryan on Medicare [The Desert Sun, 8/17/12]
· Runyan continues to defend Medicare reform proposals [The Burlington County Times, 8/16/12]
· Minn. 8th's House candidates clash over Medicare [Associated Press, 8/16/12]
· Bucshon, Walorski ready for Ryan, Medicare fight [Howey Politics Indiana, 8/16/12]
· Opponent chides Gibson for supporting Ryan plan [The Daily Star, 8/16/12]
· Nevada Dem House Candidates Take Aim At Ryan Budget [Talking Points Memo, 8/16/12]
· Medicare moves to the fore in Texas' 23rd congressional district race [The Houston Chronicle, 8/16/12]
· Both sides agree: Paul Ryan as Romney running mate will bring debate on government spending to the fore [The Nashua Telegraph, 8/16/12]
· Dold Won't Run From Ryan Budget Votes [The Niles Patch, 8/15/12]
· Romney-Ryan ticket raises profile of Medicare as issue [STL Today, 8/15/12]
· Ryan pick shakes NY races [New York Post, 8/14/12]
· Democratic candidate links Meehan to 'Prosperity' plan [The Delaware County Daily Times, 8/14/12]
· Schreibman and Gibson fence over Medicare [The Times Union, 8/14/12]
· The Medicare election [Democrat and Chronicle, 8/14/12]
· Will NY's House races see a 'Hochul effect'? [Times Union, 8/14/12]
· How will Ryan play in the 8th? [The Intelligencer, 8/14/12]
· Area Democrats try to use Ryan against congressional incumbents [The Inquirer, 8/14/12]
· Schreibman Continues Pressing Gibson On Ryan Budget [Capital Tonight, 8/14/12]
· Democrats, media in counterattack on Ryan as veep pick [Chicago Business, 8/14/12]
· Schreibman Continues Pressing Gibson On Ryan Budget [YNN, 8/14/12]
· Hayworth praises Ryan, Gibson more guarded [The Times Union, 8/13/12]
· PA12: The Ryan/Medicare laboratory [Post Gazette, 8/13/12]
· Hudson Valley House hopefuls spar over Ryan's budget ideas [Newsday, 8/13/12]
· Congressional Opponents Sound Off On Paul Ryan's Rise To GOP Prominence [NY 1 News, 8/13/12]
· Vice Presidential pick could affect Congressional race in Central New York [CNY Central, 8/13/12]
· PA Dems Take First Shot at Ryan [Politics PA, 8/13/12]
· Paul Ryan jumps into the race—between Cicilline and Doherty [WPRI News, 8/13/12]
· Hudson Valley House hopefuls spar over Ryan's budget ideas [Westchester Newsday, 8/13/12]
· Pa. Dems meet to bash Ryan budget [POLITICO, 8/13/12]
· Miklosi links Coffman to the Ryan budget, asserts the duo as "extreme" [Denver Post, 8/13/12]
· Ryan, Buchanan no strangers in Congress [Herald Tribune, 8/13/12]
· Local Politicians React to Romney Choosing Ryan As Running Mate [WSAW News, 8/12/12]
· Dold, Schneider Respond to Ryan Pick [Libertyville Patch, 8/12/12]
· Buerkle likes Romney-Ryan ticket; Maffei pounces [The Citizen, 8/12/12]
· Paul Ryan gets to the heart of differences between Democrats, Republicans [Evansville Courier and Press, 8/11/12]
· Ryan's plan for Medicare will get Floridians' attention [Ocala Star Banner, 8/11/12]
· Locally, Dems pounce on Ryan pick [Watertown Daily Times, 8/11/12]
· Analysts say Ryan pick intensifies Medicare debate for Florida seniors [Palm Beach Post, 8/11/12]
· How Ryan will play a role in Congressional battles [Tampa Bay Times, 8/11/12]
· Paul Ryan selection an issue in New York House races [Democrat and Chronicle, 8/11/12]
Republicans Resort Lies, Attacks Ruled False: Republicans have resorted to deception, distortion, and lies about Medicare. Independent factchecker Politifact rated the Republican claim that House Democrats support "gutting" Medicare by more than $700 billion to pay for a "big government healthcare takeover" as Pants on Fire. That's not all. Republicans are being called out for their false attacks and lies.
· Bloomberg: The Affordable Care Act Does Not Cut Medicare Benefits. "The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Obama pushed for doesn't cut Medicare; it simply reduces projected future increases in costs by $700 billion over 10 years." [Bloomberg, 8/13/12]
· CBS News Called Romney's $716 billion Medicare Cut Attack "Dubious." CBS news called the attack "dubious" and wrote: "it's not the patients who would lose money. It's the providers… Additionally, all but four members of the house GOP voted for those same cuts in passing Ryan's budget plan." [CBS News, 8/15/12]
What's next? The damage for Republicans since Ryan joined the ticket 10 days ago is undeniable. It's clear that Republicans are on defense and will continue to be forced to defend their unwelcome running mate, the Ryan budget that ends Medicare, between now and Election Day.