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Republicans Go on Medicare Offensive - “fully engage and lean into this fight”
Weekly Standard ^ | August 15, 2012 | Fred Barnes

Posted on 08/15/2012 7:32:17 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

President Obama and the Democrats have been ambushed. They blindly walked into the political trap Republicans set for them on Medicare.

Democratic strategists were certain that, with Paul Ryan on the Republican ticket, Medicare had become a better issue than ever for them. How do we know this? Democrats said so.

Ryan is the author of a Medicare reform plan that Democrats insist would “end Medicare as we know it.” That’s their mantra. Mitt Romney, who picked Ryan as his vice presidential running mate last week, has a similar plan of his own.

It didn’t occur to Democrats that Republicans might have devised, tested, and were ready to deliver a response that would put Democrats on the defensive. It’s a double whammy in which Obama and Democrats are held responsible for cutting Medicare spending and using the money to pay for the president’s unpopular health care plan, Obamacare.

Moving quickly, the Romney campaign packaged that two-step response into a crisp, 30-second TV ad that began being aired yesterday. The campaign plans a large buy with the ad, particularly in swing states.

“You paid into Medicare for years,” the voiceover says. (A picture of an elderly man is on the screen.) “Every paycheck. Now when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. Why? To pay for Obamacare. So now the money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans, developed this response to Medicare attacks. It consists of this: defend and attack. First, defend the Republican plan to reform and save Medicare, then immediately go on the attack, citing the Medicare funds used to pay for Obamacare.

The Republican strategy was tested in a special House election in Nevada in 2011. First, it had to be clear that Democratic candidate Kate Marshall, the state treasurer, would not vote to repeal Obamacare. She said she wouldn’t. Instead, in a TV spot, she zinged Republican Mark Amodei for proposing “to end Medicare as we know it.”

Amodei answered with an ad accusing Marshall of wanting to cut $500 billion from Medicare. His mother appeared in the ad, asking her son to block the cut. “You’d better, son, I’m counting on you,” she says.

Marshall came back with a second ad, this one simply saying Amodei would “end Medicare.” His mother showed up again in his response, and Amodei was cast as “the one candidate working to protect Medicare.”

The ads transformed the public’s perception of Amodei from a critic of Medicare to a supporter. This occurred among all age groups.

The strategy was designed merely to achieve a draw on the Medicare issue. But it did far better than that. Amodei won with 63 percent of the vote. The seat is now regarded as solidly Republican.

Now the NRCC has produced a 10-minute video that spells out how the strategy played out in Nevada. The video has distributed to Republican candidates. It urges them to “fully engage and lean into this fight” over Medicare.

Ryan, in an interview yesterday with Brit Hume of Fox News, said Medicare can be a winning issue for Republicans. “Absolutely, because we’re the ones who are offering a plan to save Medicare, to protect Medicare, to strengthen Medicare,” Ryan said. “We’re the ones who are not raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare.”

Obama, he said, “is actually damaging Medicare for current seniors. It’s irrefutable and that’s why I think this is a debate we want to have and that’s the debate we’re going to win.”

Romney has promised to repeal Obamacare. By doing so, the money taken from Medicare would be returned. His reform of Medicare would give seniors a set amount each to buy health insurance from among competing options. Seniors could even choose to buy traditional Medicare if they wished.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: medicare; obamacare; paulryan; romneyryan2012
AD: You Paid :30 video
1 posted on 08/15/2012 7:32:35 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I saw this ad this morning (hooray for swing state madness). I thought it was very well done.


2 posted on 08/15/2012 7:40:06 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Saw this ad last night - Lehigh Valley (eastern PA).

It would be interesting to know if other Freepers have seen the ad and where it’s playing.


3 posted on 08/15/2012 7:40:23 AM PDT by randita (Paul Ryan is "Mr. Smith goes to Washington.")
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To: randita

Northern Virginia. Romney’s been all over our market, and I’m glad. If he can stay close here (he doesn’t even have to lead), Obama’s toast in Virginia.


4 posted on 08/15/2012 7:46:48 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Mr. Bird

It’s playing in the West Michigan Markets...


5 posted on 08/15/2012 7:50:24 AM PDT by VRWCarea51
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
That's being proactive not reactive.

4 years ago McCain was noactive.

6 posted on 08/15/2012 7:52:59 AM PDT by AU72
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To: AU72
4 years ago McCain was noactive.

If the Republican party were sane, today McCain would be radioactive. I cannot believe they're giving him a speaking role at the Republican convention.

7 posted on 08/15/2012 8:01:33 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: Maceman

romney will always be best known for his hell fire attacks against fellow Republicans ... especially conservatives ... in his miserable defeat at the hands of Barrack Hussein Obama in 2012 ...


8 posted on 08/15/2012 8:04:59 AM PDT by Patton@Bastogne (Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin will DEFEAT the Obama-Romney Socialist Gay-Marriage Axis of Evil)
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To: Patton@Bastogne
Hey, thread crapper, who asked you?

I understand your distaste for the eventual nominee, but seriously, in this thread? Why?

9 posted on 08/15/2012 8:11:37 AM PDT by Paradox (I want Obama defeated. Period.)
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To: Paradox
well ... how about the idea that myth should be "really" attacking obama ... instead of playing celebrity golf at the bain capital rush limbaugh invitational golf tournament ?

and like i said ...

myth will "never" be remembered for kicking obama's ass ...

and everyone on the planet knows it ...

don't shoot me, i'm just the messenger ...


. .
10 posted on 08/15/2012 8:18:37 AM PDT by Patton@Bastogne (Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin will DEFEAT the Obama-Romney Socialist Gay-Marriage Axis of Evil)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
It didn’t occur to Democrats that Republicans might have devised, tested, and were ready to deliver a response that would put Democrats on the defensive.

To be fair to the 'rats, history is on their side on this one.

11 posted on 08/15/2012 8:26:29 AM PDT by kevkrom (Those in a rush to trample the Constitution seem to forget that it is the source of their authority.)
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To: randita

It’s been playing in Florida ALOT.


12 posted on 08/15/2012 8:43:46 AM PDT by No Socialist
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
It didn’t occur to Democrats that Republicans might have devised, tested, and were ready to deliver a response

Of course not. They have been the 'dumb' party that always had to react to attacks they didn't anticipate. Now, someone is actually thinking and can not only react quickly to attacks but can even come up with their own ideas, push them, and defend them.

I am impressed so far.

13 posted on 08/15/2012 8:48:21 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
“Absolutely, because we’re the ones who are offering a plan to save Medicare, to protect Medicare, to strengthen Medicare,” Ryan said. “We’re the ones who are not raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare.”

I love that they're taking the fight TO the Democrats rather than sitting back and being on the defensive.

14 posted on 08/15/2012 8:56:03 AM PDT by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

Ending Medicare as we know it... yeah, well,

“as we know it” means that it will be bankrupt in just a few years,

“as it will be” means that it will still be functional in a few years.

So, how do you want it? “as you know it” or “as it will be”?


15 posted on 08/15/2012 8:58:44 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working fors)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Looks like Obama and his gang have walked into another Wiley E. Coyote moment. They forgot that due to Obamacare they had maxed out the Mediscare Card. Just like they maxed out the Race Card through overuse.

To quote Datatechguy:

“Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell”!


16 posted on 08/15/2012 9:03:52 AM PDT by No Truce With Kings (Ten years on FreeRepublic and counting.)
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To: Paradox

Seriously, by this time, I hope we all can realize that these people are not worth responding to. I used to get pissed, but now I’m just laughing out loud!

I mean really, it’s bad enough being stupid, but bitter and stubborn too?

Guys like this are a freak show. Nothing more.


17 posted on 08/15/2012 9:36:01 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; All
We are looking at the straw that broke Obama's back...

He created a new entitlement and didn't fix a really broken one, In fact he took money from it...

Now if Romney / Ryan can re-finance it, close down Obamacare and "fix" Medicare, they can prove that Republicans can "fix" entitlements without too much pain.

That IMHO is what the Dem's fear. They know they are broke, but they don't have the Cohones' to go back to their traditional constituencies and tell them the truth.

Once one is fixed and Trust is built Medicaid , SSI and dare I say the VA medical system may get a do-over as well.

The Dem's are now in a position of not being trusted on entitlements, and no one see's it, it is a sea change..

Again once one is fixed and they can prove they can do it in a gentlemen and gentlewomen like fashion, the door is open to fix them all...

18 posted on 08/15/2012 9:43:20 AM PDT by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: taildragger

My goodness, I never thought of that.

Can this be like the 1932 election, but with the parties reversed? The media and democrats (I know, redundant) have used Hoover as a foil all these many years. Maybe we can have 75 years of “Obama” as our Hoover.

Very astute!


19 posted on 08/15/2012 10:08:33 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Alas Babylon!
Thank you AB...

GWB tried to fix SSI, and they all poo-pooed it, but he was right. It took the arrogance of BHO, to do what he did as a community organizer and played a shell game with it. This guy is a 5 card monte hustler, and now they know it...

Democrat or Republican, 4 yrs of friends and family loosing houses, investment values etc, have probably done more to make people dollar savvy and that you need to balance your books and not live on a credit card.

Obama took a credit card to Medicare and that is what is really pissin' people off...

20 posted on 08/15/2012 10:15:11 AM PDT by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: Alas Babylon!

You are correct. These little gnats can’t stand the fact that over the weekend Romney/Ryan consistently drew 10,000+ supporters.

Joe Biden gave a campaign speech to (gasp!) 650 people. 650.

They also, in their attempt to remain as ignorant as possible, refuse to watch the great YouTube video where Ryan takes Obama apart in 6 minutes in an Obamacare discussion.

I’m 65 and I know I am not finished learning new things. Sadly, the libs refuse to learn anything new. They are pretty much stuck where they were in their 20’s and don’t anyone try to attack them with facts!


21 posted on 08/15/2012 10:25:52 AM PDT by SusaninOhio
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Short....but right to the point. Thank you Romney for selecting Ryan!


22 posted on 08/15/2012 10:30:38 AM PDT by NoGrayZone (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Unlike mclame shackling Palin in 2008, Romney is letting Ryan loose.

Amen for that!


23 posted on 08/15/2012 10:32:54 AM PDT by NoGrayZone (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I think it is a brilliant, go-for-broke ad. It shows Romney has more guts than some initially gave him credit for.


24 posted on 08/15/2012 12:00:14 PM PDT by Tennessean4Bush (An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true.)
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To: Maceman
If the Republican party were sane, today McCain would be radioactive. I cannot believe they're giving him a speaking role at the Republican convention.
The VP pick of Ryan is for the conservative base. The convention speakers are to fire up the base without alienating the independents who watch.
25 posted on 08/15/2012 12:03:07 PM PDT by Tennessean4Bush (An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true.)
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To: AU72

That’s being proactive not reactive

4 years ago McCain was noactive.


He treated responding to Obama like it was radioactive and wanted no part of it.


26 posted on 08/15/2012 12:13:09 PM PDT by patriotspride
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To: MrB

Ending Medicare as we know it... yeah, well,

“as we know it” means that it will be bankrupt in just a few years,

“as it will be” means that it will still be functional in a few years.

So, how do you want it? “as you know it” or “as it will be”?


Excellent. Hope someone see’s your summary and uses it in an Ad.


27 posted on 08/15/2012 12:16:08 PM PDT by patriotspride
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To: randita

Saw it here in the Peoples Democratic Republic of Massachusettstan. I then heard screams of rage coming from two of my neighbors’ houses. Neither one was screaming in English.


28 posted on 08/15/2012 12:42:06 PM PDT by pabianice (washington, dc ..)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; seekthetruth; MinuteGal; Joe Brower; 4integrity; gonzo

This ad is playing everywhere, even in Blue states!

Romney showed courage and political smarts in choosing Ryan.
The Dems have been ambushed on the Medicare issue and are running around in a panic....playing the race card, telling outrageous lies and spinning like tops!

It’s quite entertaining to watch!


29 posted on 08/16/2012 8:48:14 PM PDT by JulieRNR21 (Romney/Ryan 2012! America's Rescue and Recovery Team!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; All
Great ad. I love the Ticket we have, since Paul Ryan is on board, and I love the way the GOP has come out swinging. No McCain wussies this time around. I'm convinced that the only way Romney/Ryan will not win is if Obama and his Chicago thugs find a way to steal this Election. I put nothing past them. But, Romney, Ryan, the GOP and the RNC know this; so, hopefully they are prepared for whatever might happen.
30 posted on 08/17/2012 5:43:55 AM PDT by pistolpackinpapa (Why is it that you never see any Obama bumper stickers on cars going to work in the mornings?)
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