Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Romney and Ryan Turn the Tables on Obama ^ | August 20, 2012 | Michael Barone

Posted on 08/19/2012 10:32:08 PM PDT by Kaslin

Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan was supposed to be a problem for the Republicans. So said a chorus of chortling Democrats. So said a gaggle of anonymous seasoned Republican operatives. All of which was echoed gleefully by mainstream media.

The problem, these purveyors of the conventional wisdom all said, was Medicare -- to be more specific, the future changes in Medicare set out in the budget resolutions Ryan fashioned as House Budget Committee chairman and persuaded almost all House and Senate Republicans to vote for.

But while Democrats licked their chops at the prospect of scaring old ladies that they'd be sent downhill in wheelchairs, the Medicare issue seems to be working in the other direction.

Romney and Ryan have gone on the offense, noting that while their plan calls for no changes for current Medicare recipients and those over 55, Obamacare, saved from demolition by Chief Justice John Roberts, cuts $716 billion from the politically popular Medicare to pay for Obama's politically unpopular health care law.

The Romney campaign is putting TV advertising money behind this message, and it will have plenty more to spend -- quite possibly more than the Obama forces -- once the Romney-Ryan ticket is officially nominated in Tampa, Fla., in 10 days. Team Obama is visibly squirming.

It turns out that Ryan and Romney, who in late 2011 and early 2012 moved quietly but deliberately toward embracing the Ryan agenda, may have outthought their adversaries.

Those last-minute Mediscare-type mailings to seniors, which enabled Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles to narrowly defeat Jeb Bush in the 1994 Florida governor race, don't work so well anymore when the issue is brought out fully in the light of day.

But Medicare/Mediscare is not the only thing on which the Democrats have underestimated Ryan and the putative presidential nominee who selected him from the high-quality field of potential VP nominees from which he made his pick.

Ryan brings two other things to the Republican ticket that could prove important in the two-month sprint from the Tampa and Charlotte, N.C, conventions to Election Day.

One is foreign policy chops. Romney has less in the way of exposure to serious involvement in foreign and defense policy than any major party nominee since Bill Clinton in 1992 and Romney's fellow Bay Stater Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Ryan, as a member of the House, theoretically brings a little more. But actually a good bit more, to judge from a little noticed speech he delivered three blocks from the White House to the Alexander Hamilton Society in June 2011.

In that speech, as Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens noted last week, Ryan showed that "he knows how to think."

"Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course," said Ryan, whose number-crunching knack clearly appealed to fellow numbers-cruncher Romney.

Defense spending accounted for 39 percent of the federal budget in 1970, said Ryan (who was born that year), but accounts for only 16 percent today. Under current budget pressures, it is at risk of going far lower.

Ryan referenced Princeton scholar Aaron Friedberg's book "The Weary Titan," on how Britain ceded world leadership a century ago in the face of economic pressures. He pointed out that while Britain could assume that the United States, with similar values and goals, might take up the burden, we have no similar fallback today.

Ryan acknowledged that our long-term dedication to freedom and democracy must sometimes yield to short-term interests. But that dedication, not occasional accommodations, must be our lodestar.

As Stephens argues, this puts Ryan much more than Barack Obama in line with the examples set by Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan and -- dangerous to say it -- George W. Bush.

Romney takes the same approach on this, and on the other valuable quality Ryan brings to the Republican ticket.

And that is his solid mooring in the lessons of America's Founding Fathers. "America is an idea," Ryan said, that "our rights come to us from God and nature," rights that "belong to every person everywhere."

This election can be seen as a contest between the Founders' ideas and those of the Progressives, who saw the Founders as outmoded in an industrial era.

Ryan strengthens Romney in his invocation of the Founders. Obama is stuck with the tinny and outdated debunking of the Progressives. Which rings truer today?

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: 2012issues; barackobama; barone; campaign2012; defensecuts; lamestreammedia; medicare; mittromney; paulryan; romney202012

1 posted on 08/19/2012 10:32:13 PM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Seniors know the status quo means bankruptcy for Medicare. They might was well pin their hopes on Romney/Ryan. A small chance is better than no chance.

That said, taking what has been a perennially losing issue for the GOP, and turning it into a strong suit, is really bold. I hope this audacious move works. Audacity of hope ;)

2 posted on 08/19/2012 10:45:00 PM PDT by kevao
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

——”Romney has less in the way of exposure to serious involvement in foreign and defense policy than any major party nominee since Bill Clinton in 1992”

The writer of the article might note that Obama (though in the Senate voting “present” most of the time), spent little time on foreign and defense policy as well.

Once in office his naivete showed.

Romney at least has a core understanding of the evil that is Iran (witness his recent hawkish speech in Israel as an example). He gets it.

3 posted on 08/19/2012 11:28:13 PM PDT by AlanGreenSpam (Obama: The First 'American IDOL' President - sponsored by Chicago NeoCom Thugs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AlanGreenSpam

Being an international businessman I think Romney’s got a bit more foreign policy experience than people give him credit for. Definitely more than Barry Jr had.

Defense, that’s what SecDef is for. The President doesn’t just stand alone out there.

4 posted on 08/19/2012 11:44:14 PM PDT by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Domandred

Good point...

I wonder what kind of ADULT cabinet R&R would assemble compared to the current cabal of children & criminals in the Bork Obunga Regime.

Secretary of State: John Bolton would be awesome!!

5 posted on 08/20/2012 12:52:27 AM PDT by AlanGreenSpam (Obama: The First 'American IDOL' President - sponsored by Chicago NeoCom Thugs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Domandred

If I recall correctly, didn’t the 2002 Olympics involve other nations besides the US?

6 posted on 08/20/2012 1:48:20 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

Who have WINTER sports. That is why not as many countries unlike the summer games.

7 posted on 08/20/2012 3:43:38 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: AlanGreenSpam

Secretary of State: John Bolton would be awesome!!

Amen brother. I could get behind that idea.

8 posted on 08/20/2012 4:58:25 AM PDT by bytesmith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Why is it that the “smartest people in the room” are always surprised by what happens? Why is every fact that gets reported always “unexpected” by these people?

The chortling Democrats, the gaggle of anonymous seasoned Republican operatives, and the gleeful echo chamber of the mainstream media should get a clue. This tells me that all of them are seriously stupid, horribly out of touch, or deliberately deceitful. I would say all three.

9 posted on 08/20/2012 5:27:56 AM PDT by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AlanGreenSpam; Kaslin
"Secretary of State: John Bolton would be awesome!"
yes, he would be great!.. it would be nice to have a Pro-American Policy @ SoS. :-D
and kick-out all of the Arabists and fully committed to a (strong :) Energy America
First Policy

10 posted on 08/20/2012 7:44:36 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (WA DC E$tabli$hment; DNC/RNC/Unionists...Brazilian saying: "$@me Old $hit; w/ different flie$" :^)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson