Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory largely dismissed the possibility of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan entering the 2012 presidential race: "He's got some of his own problems in terms of being the intellectual force behind Medicare reform that is actually hurting the Republican Party."
While Gregory noted that Ryan "didn't close the door" to a potential run, he played up the idea that reforming Medicare would be a political loser in the campaign: "...as they [Republicans] found out in New York-26, in that upstate New York race, that this is an issue that Democrats are going to be able to use against the Republicans if they don't change their message about how Medicare's going to be changed."
Steve Israel had his talking points, and he was sticking to them. Republicans want to "end Medicare" in order to give tax cuts to the big oil companies. On Morning, Joe Scarborough repeatedly called out Israel, head of the Dem congressional campaign committee, on his demagoguery. Not that it stopped the Dem congressman from New York from repeating his rap.
For good measure, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett appeared later and claimed that Medicare could be maintained without cutting a penny of benefits to seniors merely by finding various "efficiencies" in the program. Waste, fraud and abuse ride again!
View video after the jump.
The conventional wisdom in the liberal media is that the special election in NY-26 was a referendum on the Ryan budget, which the voters rejected by electing the Democratic candidate.
Despite the flaws in this talking point, which NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay explains here, Time magazine's Joe Klein took this argument to a whole new low.
On the May 25 edition of MSNBC's "Last Word," Klein chortled, "[NY-26] was a victory for socialism!"
Klein has since tried to walk back this declaration, but it wasn't the only bizarre claim he made on Lawrence O'Donnell's prime-time program.
Thursday’s lead New York Times story by Jennifer Steinhauer on the aftermath of the special election in New York State, "Democrats Force A Medicare Vote, Pressuring G.O.P. - Seeking Political Edge - 5 Republicans in Senate Oppose House Bill to Reshape Program," took up the Times’s mantra that the Republican loss in the special election spells trouble for the Republican Party overall in 2012 and doom for Rep. Paul Ryan’s ambitious Medicare reform.
The Washington Post headline on Thursday took a less partisan view, emphasizing Republican unity: "GOP Sticks to Medicare Proposal."
Congressional Democrats pressed for a vote on the Ryan plan yesterday, and it went down to defeat 57-40, with five Senate Republicans opposing it along with the Democrats.
The House Republican Medicare plan would convert it into a subsidized program for the private insurance market. When they proposed it last month as the centerpiece of their budget plan, Republicans were confident that the wind of budget politics was at their backs.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews has for weeks been dishonestly telling his viewers Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) budget proposal would kill Medicare.
On Wednesday's "Hardball," former Republican National Committee chair just-turned MSNBC contributor Michael Steele struck back (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The potential for over-the-top advertising from Democrats to defend Medicare is definitely there, Rachel Maddow told her MSNBC audience Monday.
She should know, since her show of late is little more than a Medicare commercial for Democrats.
As she talked about the next day's special election in New York's 26th House district, Maddow described Jim Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus advocacy group, stumping for Republican candidate Jane Corwin (video after page break) --
The New York Times provided big play to Tuesday’s special congressional election to fill New York's 26th congressional district near Buffalo, a race in which Democrat Kathy Hochul upset Republican Jane Corwin. Reporter Raymond Hernandez was quick to assume this one special race spells bad news for Republican plans to reform Medicare, and their prospects in the national elections 18 months away. But how does the Times typically react when Republicans win special and off-year elections?
The stack of headlines to Wednesday’s off-lead story by the conservative-hostile Hernandez set the tone: "Gaining Upset, Democrat Wins New York Seat -- Blow to National G.O.P. -- Victor in House Contest Fought a Republican Plan on Medicare."
Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections.
All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered Democrat Kathy Hochul winning the special election in New York's 26th congressional district and framed the outcome as a rejection of Republican plans to reform Medicare. On NBC's Today, news reporter Ann Curry proclaimed: "The race hinged on Hochul's opposition to a Republican-led plan to make deep cuts in Medicare." [Audio available here]
On ABC's Good Morning America, news reporter Josh Elliot declared Hochul's win to be "a seismic event in the political world" and a "shocking upset." Like Curry, he declared: "The GOP candidate lost after backing that Republican plan to cut billions from Medicare." In reality, the Republican budget plan increases Medicare spending from $563 billion to $953 billion ten years from now. That’s an increase of nearly 70%.
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Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday that the press are so in bed with President Obama that they are actually supporting Democrat lies about Medicare and Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) plan to save it.
Appearing on the "O'Reilly Factor," the syndicated columnist also told the host that Fox News is "extremely powerful" because it "broke the monopoly that liberals had on all the media for about 30 years" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an effort to counteract tactics that some Republicans fear could cost the GOP electoral victories in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan lays out the facts behind his proposed budget, which he calls the "Path to Prosperity," in a follow-up to his first video on the plan. Check out the new one after the break, and let us know what you think.
Joe Scarborough made a puzzling comment today that, to put it generously, could use some clarification.
On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Scarborough argued that Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 budget plan will fail because "fundamentally changing" Medicare is too extreme.
But in a previous show, the morning host sang a remarkably different tune.