Newt Gingrich recently claimed that “any ad which quotes” his own condemnation of Congressman Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan “is a falsehood,” a laughable contention which Democrats have already promised to completely ignore. After all, what better way to highlight the allegedly radical nature of the Republican plan for Medicare than by quoting a Republican icon like Gingrich labeling it “radical change”? Actually, there might be a better way: quoting opposition to the plan from a respected, independent-thinking moderate like Massachusetts senator Scott Brown.
Today, Politico runs an op-ed from the freshman Republican explaining why he intends to vote against the Ryan plan, of which all but four Republicans in the House has already voted in favor. While avoiding Gingrich’s harsh rhetoric, Brown still contends that, under the proposal, “the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support” and seniors would “bear a disproportionate burden” of our debt-reduction efforts. Most damagingly, he writes that it would “change Medicare as we know it.” That’s the kind of sound-bite that gives Democratic ad-makers a tingly feeling in their no-no area.
Brown has a re-election in a blue state to worry about, and opposing the widely unpopular Medicare plan is smart politics for him, despite the inevitable backlash it will produce from Republicans. Expect the standard cries of “RINO!” and accusations that Brown has thrown the GOP under the bus to save his own thick, gray hide. Considering that he could have easily stated his opposition to the plan without elaborating on its drawbacks at such length and with such quotability, they won’t be entirely wrong.
Why I don’t back Ryan Medicare plan [Politico]