Saturday, August 11, 2012

GOPer Twofer: Romney Effectively Concedes Florida, and Lifts the Bill Nelson Campaign

"Paul Ryan was announced Saturday as Republican Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, and conservatives are rejoicing."
But so are Democrats.

Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is the architect of the Ryan budget plan that makes big changes to Medicare and Medicaid and could allow for some privatization of Social Security.

And that’s widely seen by Democrats and most analysts as a politically risky stance in Florida, a must-win state for Republicans, where retirees cast a suspicious eye on changes to the three major government-entitlement programs that pump about $96 billion yearly into the hands of the elderly, the infirm and the hospitals, doctors and other providers who give them direct care. ...

At the heart of the controversy is Ryan’s proposal to turn Medicare in the future into a “premium support” system that would help seniors pay for private health insurance. It would essentially put more caps on future Medicare expenditures.

Democrats prefer to use the “V” word to describe it: Voucher. And they point to independent studies showing that the voucher, a predetermined amount of money that escalates at a predetermined rate over time, won’t keep pace with the inflation of medical costs.

Bottom line: Seniors would have to pay more out of pocket in the future than they’re paying now. Services could be cut. Right now, about 3.4 million are on Medicare in Florida, which receives about $25.2 billion from the program.
"Why Paul Ryan could be a drag in Florida (which Marco Rubio helps Romney win)".

See also "GOP Rep. Connie Mack calls Paul Ryan budget plan 'a joke' - The Hill" and "Republican Congressman Tries To Walk Back Calling The House GOP Budget A ‘Joke’".

And then there's Connie Mack, who back in April described Romney's Veep pick's budget proposal a "joke".
Republican Congressman and Senate candidate Connie Mack called the budget plan, drafted by fellow Rep. Paul Ryan, a "joke" during a weekend Orlando Tea Party forum.
Mack quickly flip-flopped:
Mack spokesman David James also sought to clarify that Mack didn't mean to criticize the conservative plan itself — which President Obama roundly bashed Tuesday in a campaign-style speech.

"The vote was the 'joke,' as in the process being a joke, not the Ryan plan itself. And Connie said the vote was a joke," James said in an e-mail. "He supports the Ryan plan but the process is a joke when the GOP House continues to do the right things and the liberal Senate under [Majority Leader Harry] Reid and [Florida Sen. Bill] Nelson continue to kill fiscally responsible measures."

Still, Mack clearly criticized the Ryan plan itself when he was asked about a string of missed votes in Congress, including the budget plan.
"Connie Mack disses Paul Ryan budget as 'a joke'".

Mack is back to doing damage control this morning: "US Senate candidate Connie Mack IV salutes Romney's pick for running mate".

Nelson will no doubt enjoy shining a spotlight on that bit of Mini-Mack flip-floppery.