How Team Romney-Ryan Is Playing On The Campaign Trail

Topics: Health Costs, Medicare, Politics, States

Aug 14, 2012

The Medicare plan advanced by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has been tapped by GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney to be his running mate, almost immediately emerged as a campaign flashpoint.

The Associated Press: GOP Ticket Faces Growing Pains As Dems Attack
The newly shaped Republican presidential ticket is fighting growing pains amid charges from President Barack Obama’s re-election team that challenger Mitt Romney favors his new running mate’s controversial plans to overhaul Medicare and cut trillions of dollars from social programs (8/14).

The Washington Post: Both Camps Hit Trail Running In Race To Define GOP Ticket
President Obama, beginning a bus tour in Iowa, sought to use Ryan’s seven terms in the House to lash the Republican ticket to dysfunction in Congress. In North Carolina, Vice President Biden deepened an assault on the GOP ticket over Ryan’s proposal to slash the federal budget and overhaul Medicare. And the Republican team gave a glimpse of how it hopes to deploy the 42-year-old: as an energetic charmer at ease campaigning in his native Midwest. On Monday, he took the spotlight in front of thousands at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Far from playing the part of a conservative ideologue, … he avoided any mention of his signature effort to reform domestic entitlement programs. But he was heckled by protesters over his budget plans nonetheless, quickly transforming his first solo appearance as a national candidate into a chaotic spectacle (Gardner and Helderman, 8/13).

The Wall Street Journal: Presidential Race Snaps Into Gear
The presidential candidates traded barbs on Medicare and the economy in three battleground states Monday, as the campaign for the White House sped into a sprint. The day mixed debate on the central fiscal issues facing Washington with traditional on-the-ground campaigning at venues including the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, where Rep. Paul Ryan, in jeans and cowboy boots, made his first solo appearance since joining the GOP ticket. Across the state at a family farm in western Iowa, President Barack Obama, also in casual clothes, pledged aid to farmers suffering from a drought that has slashed crop yields (Murray, Lee and Nelson, 8/13).

The New York Times: Medicare Rises As Prime Election Issue
With Mitt Romney’s selection of Representative Paul D. Ryan as his running mate, Florida quickly emerged on Monday as a critical test of the nationwide Republican gamble that concerns over the mounting federal debt can blunt potent Democratic attacks on conservative proposals to revamp Medicare (Nagourney, 8/13).

Los Angeles Times: In Florida, Romney Attacks Obama, Defends Ryan, On Medicare
From the moment Paul D. Ryan was picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate, speculation mounted about whether the Wisconsin congressman’s controversial proposal to reform Medicare would harm the ticket’s prospects among seniors, notably in this battleground state. On Monday, as Romney campaigned on Florida’s Gold Coast, he argued that Ryan and Republicans sought to protect the healthcare program for the elderly and that President Obama would gut it (Mehta, 8/14).

Miami Herald: Mitt Romney Returns To Florida With Medicare Back As Central Issue
Mitt Romney mentioned the word Medicare only twice Monday in his first Florida stop in St. Augustine after picking a running mate, but no one doubts it will be a central part of the campaign fight in this must-win state. “The president’s idea for Medicare was to cut it by $700 billion,” Romney said during a morning rally in St. Augustine. “That’s not the right answer. We need to make sure we can preserve and protect Medicare.” On his second stop in in West Miami-Dade at El Palacio de Los Jugos, the Republican presidential nominee was greeted by a large, enthusiastic crowd where he gave his standard stump speech — absent a single mention of Medicare (Smith, Caputo and Mitchell, 8/13).

CBS (Video): Romney Cautious About Medicare Stance In Fla.
Ryan backs that up with a serious plan to dramatically cut the budget, rein in spending, and reform entitlement programs like Medicare. But Romney, perhaps cautious of polls that show people like the current system, struck a more cautious and vague note on change. Romney’s website says Ryan’s plan “almost precisely mirrors Mitt’s ideas.” But pressed on Monday, Romney wouldn’t even say that. “The items that we agree on I think outweigh any differences there may be,” Romney said. “We haven’t gone through piece by piece and said, ‘Oh, here’s a place where there’s a difference'” (Crawford, 8/14).

Politico: In Florida, Mitt Romney Finds No Split On Paul Ryan Budget
Romney’s decision to pick Paul Ryan as his No. 2 thrust the congressman’s plans to overhaul Medicare, an entitlement program on which many seniors are dependent, into the spotlight. Given the politically explosive nature of that debate, especially in a place like Florida, Romney has said that while Ryan’s plan is on the right track, he would propose his own budget as president. But the presumptive GOP nominee didn’t answer how that plan might differ from Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” on Monday in Florida (Gibson, 8/13).

Bloomberg: Romney Campaigning In Florida Attacks Obama On Medicare
Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, moving aggressively to defend his running mate’s budget blueprint, charged that President Barack Obama is weakening Medicare while his party is working to save it. Romney used a visit to Florida — home to the nation’s largest population of seniors — to wade into a politically risky debate over the government health program for the elderly, citing the Medicare plan offered by his vice presidential pick, Representative Paul Ryan, as an example of the contrast between the Republican’s vision and Obama’s (Hirschfield Davis, 8/13).

Bloomberg: Romney Defends Medicare Proposal to Anxious Ohio Seniors
When Mitt Romney arrives in Ohio today, he’ll be facing undecided voters like Doug Phelps who worry the Republican presidential candidate and his newly chosen running mate will make big changes to a program they cherish. Without Medicare, Phelps, a 69-year-old barber from suburban Columbus, could never have afforded the $171,000 heart surgery he had last year — his coverage combined with his wife’s health insurance allowed them to pay less than $50 for the procedure. And Phelps wants to know more details about both Romney’s and President Barack Obama’s plans for Medicare (Niquette and Hirschfield Davis, 8/14).

Philadelphia Inquirer: Romney: Time To Be ‘More Like America’
The GOP presidential candidate barely mentioned Medicare, the issue that has become a focus of the presidential race since he named as his running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the House Budget Committee chairman, who has proposed a partial privatization of the health-insurance program for seniors. The issue could bedevil the Republican ticket in two states that may hold the key to an Electoral College victory and have some of the highest percentages of voters who rely on Medicare and Social Security: Florida and Pennsylvania (Fitzgerald, 8/14).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Dems Insist Romney Quietly Supports Ryan’s Budgets
Led by President Barack Obama, Democrats claimed on Monday that Republican challenger Mitt Romney privately backs controversial plans to overhaul Medicare and cut trillions from social programs that his new vice presidential running mate has publicly proposed. Rep. Paul Ryan “has given definition to the vague commitments that Romney has been making,” Vice President Joe Biden said as the Democrats welcomed the Wisconsin lawmaker to the race with a barrage of criticism (8/13).

Politico: GOP Memo: ‘Don’t Say Entitlement Reform’
It only took two hours after the Paul Ryan vice presidential announcement for Republican congressional candidates to get their talking points on how to spin the Ryan budget and Medicare attacks. “Do not say: ‘entitlement reform,’ ‘privatization,’ ‘every option is on the table,'” the National Republican Congressional Committee said in an email memo. “Do say: ‘strengthen,’ ‘secure,’ ‘save,’ ‘preserve, ‘protect'” (Isenstadt, 8/13).

CNN: Labor Group To Target Ryan, Romney Over Medicare
Voters in Ohio and Nevada, the states which Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will visit on Tuesday, may encounter a web ad or mailer hitting the Republican candidates on the issues of Medicare and Coal. Worker’s Voice said it plans to spend $50,000 on web advertisements in Nevada which tie the Medicare plan proposed by Ryan to Romney and to Sen. Dean Heller. Romney is to campaign in Ohio on Tuesday and Ryan heads to Las Vegas in the evening after an afternoon event in Colorado (8/14).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Romney’s Choice Of Ryan Is Key To Politics Of Medicare Debate (Video)
Kaiser Health News staff writers Mary Agnes Carey and Marilyn Werber Serafini discuss how Medicare reforms could figure into November’s presidential election now that presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to be his running mate (8/13).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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