Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Planning Ahead

The Romney campaign and its minions cannot seem to decide whose Medicare plan they want to use to end the program as we know it.

The Romney campaign is charging that President Obama has cut $700 billion from Medicare. It has been less vocal about the fact that the Ryan plan, too, takes $700 billion from Medicare.

But one Romney surrogate admitted Tuesday morning that Ryan’s plan does make those same cuts.

John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, said the $700 billion in cuts is one of the big differences between the Romney and Ryan plans.

Romney’s plan is “very different,” Sununu said. “When Obama gutted Medicare by taking $717 billion out of it, the Romney plan does not do that,” Sununu said on CNN’s “Starting Point” Tuesday. “The Ryan plan mimicked part of the Obama package there. The Romney plan does not. That’s a big difference.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Ryan is himself having a bit of a time trying to make it clear that the budget proposal that basically got him on the ticket in the first place isn’t what he plans on pushing if he gets elected.

Ryan repeatedly tried to deflect attention from his own highly controversial budget proposal in an interview with Fox News’s Brit Hume Tuesday. Ryan’s plan is both a rallying point for conservatives and a whipping boy for Democratic strategists.

Hume didn’t buy the suggestion that the Romney-Ryan ticket wasn’t running on Ryan’s budget plan, and the interview focused largely on Ryan’s budget package. In one exchange on balancing the budget, Hume objected when Ryan tried to talk about Romney’s plan — which has drawn fire for being vague at best. Hume insisted Ryan talk about his own economic vision, which doesn’t bring the budget into balance for decades.

Ryan couldn’t predict when Romney’s plan would balance the budget.

You would have thought they would thought this out, but in fairness, I doubt the Romney folks even thought they’d have to talk about substance. They’re running for office, for Pete’s sake.