On Sunday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl suggested that Democrats in the House, rather than take a political position based on principle, refuse to vote for a budget plan that would reform Medicare because they wish to use Medicare to run against Republicans and take back the House.
As Karl recounted that he had recently spoken with House Democratic leaders, it is unclear whether he meant that one of the leaders had actually made this admission to him, or whether his assertion was his own perception. Karl:
I’ve spoken to a lot of top Democratic leaders in the last couple of days about this. Speaker Pelosi - former Speaker Pelosi made it clear that she was not going to support anything that would touch Medicare or Social Security. And the reason for that, David, is that Democrats are already campaigning to try to take back the House by saying it’s Republicans that want to cut Medicare, so there is no way they’re willing to go along with anything that could be portrayed as a cut to Medicare.
By contrast, the same night’s CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News showed no skepticism in the Democratic strategy on Medicare spending. CBS’s Bill Plante:
At tonight’s meeting, sources tell us, the President is continuing to press for his grand bargain, the $4 trillion cut. Republicans don’t like that because it increases taxes. Democrats don’t like it because it trims Medicare and other social spending. The White House folks have their own spin on it: They say that it means to President is showing leadership.
And Chuck Todd on NBC:
Over the last 48 hours, both parties have been taking the temperature of their bases when it comes to Democrats trying to figure out if there was support for some of these tough Medicare and Social Security cuts and Republicans trying to figure out if they could do massive tax reform that, in the long run, would bring in a trillion dollars in tax revenues that would go to deficit reduction.