Democrats seize upon Romney's choice of Ryan

Saturday, August 11, 2012 | 4:32 p.m. CDT; updated 7:10 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 11, 2012

CHICAGO — Democrats pounced on Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate Saturday, saying the pick showed a commitment to "budget-busting tax cuts" for the wealthy and greater burdens on the middle class and seniors.

President Barack Obama's campaign team said Romney's choice made clear that the former Massachusetts governor would be forced to adhere to the principles laid out in the House Republican budget — authored by Ryan — which they said would undermine entitlement programs crucial to middle-class families and seniors. Democrats said privately that the choice of Ryan could help Obama in states with large numbers of elderly voters, such as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Obama met with top advisers Saturday at his campaign headquarters shortly after arriving in Chicago for a series of birthday-themed fundraisers scheduled for Sunday. The president did not publicly comment on Ryan's selection and aides described the headquarters stop as a typical weekly meeting.

Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, said in a statement that Romney had "chosen a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy."

Previewing the campaign's line of attack, Messina called Ryan the "architect of the radical Republican House budget" and said it would "end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors." Ryan was chief author of a House-backed budget plan that would curb overall entitlement spending and convert Medicare into a voucher-like system in which future seniors would receive subsidies to purchase health insurance on the open market.

Less than two hours after Romney introduced Ryan as his running mate, the Obama campaign released a 90-second Web video showing footage of the men appearing together. The ad calls Ryan the "mastermind behind the extreme GOP budget plan" and includes an audio clip of Romney saying earlier this year that it would be "marvelous" if the Senate were to adopt the Ryan budget. The ad ends with this tagline: "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: Back to the failed top-down policies that crashed our economy."

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said Ryan had laid the groundwork in Congress for Romney's budget plan, which she said gives tax cuts to millionaires while punishing middle-class families. She said Romney and Ryan would repeat mistakes of former President George W. Bush.

"A Romney-Ryan ticket is sure to take us back and repeat the same catastrophic mistakes that got us into the mess we found ourselves in in the first place," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has blasted Romney for failing to release additional years of his tax returns, said in a statement that by picking Ryan, Romney "has doubled down on his commitment to gut Social Security and end Medicare as we know it."

Romney's choice "demonstrates that catering to the tea party and the far-right is more important to him that standing up for the middle class," said Reid, D-Nev.

Obama had no public events planned in Chicago on Saturday but was expected to raise $3.5 million to $4 million at a series of fundraisers Sunday connected to his recent 51st birthday, including and event at his South Side home. The president was then taking a three-day swing through Iowa, the state that launched his presidential bid in 2008.

Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

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Derrick Fogle August 11, 2012 | 11:38 p.m.

Pounce, they should. A Sarah Palin redux? Well, not quite that bad, but still... Is pandering to the right-wing loon base really going to do Romney any real favors? Ryan wants to raise taxes on the middle class, cut taxes for the wealthy even more, turn senior medical care into poorly funded insurance vouchers, cut Social Security but pour money into the military and domestic "security" forces, and the best part? He's introduced legislation to make many forms of birth control illegal.

Easy access to birth control is a necessity of modern, civil society. Get on your moral soapbox about sex all you want, but if wanted, cared for, and provided for babies are important, then so is the availability of birth control.

Then again, in states like Kansas, Tea Party members are dominating elections. The fact that there are wing-nuts out there is nothing new. but the amount of traction they've gotten in recent elections in is downright scary. It's definitely the single strongest voting block the GOTP has. Which, again, is kinda scary.

At least Mr. "Moldable Politician" Romney gets someone with a bit of solidity. But it's going to be funny: Romney and Ryan are going to mix like hot air and a cold rock.

Enjoy the show, and hope a lame-duck session can actually get what needs done, done.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 12, 2012 | 11:02 a.m.

D. Fogle - You are becoming easier to correct. Your entire first paragraph is falsehood. (unless you can name his bill against birth control)

Senseless claptrap, would be the label for the rest.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor August 12, 2012 | 1:52 p.m.

Yes, we expect lies and misinformation in these comments, maybe some spin from the PAC's, but we should be able to expect more than blatent lies from the president and his campaign. Pretty sad that an incumbant president has to make things up about his challenger. I guess when your own record consists of raising the deficit more than any other president in history and nothing to show for it but higher unemployment (remember, well over 100 fundraisers and 0 meetings with jobs council) and fat dem wallets, I guess he feels cornered. It's a shame...

The specific lie i speak of is the one repeated above. There is no tax increase for the middle class in the republican budget. (remember, there is no dem budget to compare to because they are not governing even though they are being paid to do that right now)

One liberal think tank took it upon themselves to decide that the R tax plan would reduce revenues even though similar plans raised revenues the previous 5 times and further shamefully decided that since they incorrectly assumed lower revenues that the R's are going to raise middle class taxes eventually even though there is absolutely nothing in their budget to even hint at this.

Then, to make matters worse, our president starts repeating this known lie. Pretty sad...

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush August 12, 2012 | 6:00 p.m.

H.R. Two-one-two.
A lovely tailored suit of
Willful ignorance.

When religion is
A la carte, more important
Than food stamps is War.

(Report Comment)

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