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Romney and Ryan Take on Medicare

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Doug in Nashville.  I'm glad you called.  Great to have you on the EIB Network. 

CALLER:  Hey, great to talk to you, Rush.  I believe you're absolutely right that the Democrats are vulnerable and unprepared to defend themselves on this Medicare thing.  And I believe that the Romney campaign needs to go on the offensive and actually run Mediscare ads against Obama accusing Obama of gutting Medicare by taking out $700 billion and then promising to restore Medicare by repealing Obamacare and by replacing Obama.

RUSH:  What do you think of an ad that shows Biden pushing a grandmother in a wheelchair over a cliff? 

CALLER:  (laughing) That sounds awesome.  That would be great.

RUSH:  Really?  Because they ran one of those against Ryan long ago, long before he was even named VP. His budget just came out and they ran it.  You like that tactic?  Maybe Obama and Biden together pushing an old man and an old woman together off a cliff, both of them in wheelchairs.

CALLER:  That sounds great. I believe we have to go on the offensive. Instead of waiting and defending ourselves, attack them.

RUSH:  Well, you know me, I'm a firm believer in offense, offense, offense and throwing them on defense.  And I think we saw Rachel Maddow on defense.  She didn't know what to talk about.  She had no clue that Obamacare cut $711 billion out of Medicare and Deb "Blabbermouth" Schultz didn't care, but she acted like she had no clue either.  So it's an opportunity.  There's no question.  Doug, thanks. 

This is Tom in Dexter, Michigan, you're next, sir, great to have you.

CALLER:  It's a joy to be here. Shameless one-time EIB sponsor dittos. 

RUSH:  Thank you, sir, very much.

CALLER:  I'm a writer, and I've done some political speech writing and candidate debate preps.  I'm thrilled with the Ryan selection and I'm wondering, are you looking forward to the debates this fall, particularly with Ryan and Biden? 

RUSH:  Yeah, I am, in fact.  The Ryan/Biden debate ought to be choice.  But I think the Romney/Obama debate has an opportunity to be excellent as well. 

CALLER:  I concur. I think they're both going to be great, but Ryan going up against Biden is going to be like Muhammad Ali taking on a sock puppet.

RUSH:  I don't think there's any question.  But don't forget that in every one of these debates we're going to have a moderator that's going to be going overboard to make the Democrat look good and to embarrass the Republican, in every one of them.  Oh, the moderators might have a couple of instances where they appear to challenge the Democrats so as to convey the myth of objectivity.  But, yeah, on paper Biden/Ryan looks big. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I got it. I got it. You have two people -- an old man, an old woman -- each in their own wheelchair. They're chained to the wheelchairs. And there's Obama and Biden pushing them over the cliff. By the way, folks, there is a new Romney ad going after Obama's Medicare cut. The part of it that makes sense on radio is 12 seconds, and we have it. This is the announcer in the ad just now released...

ANNOUNCER: You paid into Medicare for years. Every paycheck. Now when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. Why? To pay for Obamacare.

RUSH: Okay. That's the latest Romney ad. Now Ryan this afternoon on Fox News Channel with Brit Hume. Brit Hume has been talking about the first solo sit-down interview with Paul Ryan. They ran an excerpt of the Brit Hume interview with Paul Ryan. And Brit Hume said, "This ad suggests that you and Governor Romney think that Medicare, despite having been a difficult issue for Republicans for a long time -- and polls suggest people automatically think Republicans are hostile to Medicare -- you think it can be a winning issue. How?"

RYAN: Absolutely. Because we're the ones who are offering a plan to save Medicare, to protect Medicare, to strengthen Medicare. We're the ones who are not raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare. We're the ones continuing the guarantee of Medicare for people in or near retirement, and you have to reform it for the younger generation in order to make the commitment stick for the current generation. President Obama is actually damaging Medicare for current seniors.

RUSH: This is a monumental task. This is the second time in this program today that we've had a reference to the fact that conventional wisdom is the Democrats would never cut Medicare. It's only the Republicans that would do that! Now, there's a reason why this is conventional wisdom. The Democrats have been accusing Republicans of this for my whole life. (Well, my adult life. The period of time in my life I've been paying attention, like from age five on.)

We're gonna cut Social Security, gonna cut Medicare, gonna kick old people out of their homes. You know the drill. You've heard it. It's gone on and on and on. And the Republicans, for most of these years, have never really responded to it other than to concoct policies which essentially do the opposite of what the Democrats accuse them of. And in the process, the Republicans come up with new spending on these entitlements in an effort to prove that they're not the mean, cold, heartless creeps that the Democrats accuse them of being.

So after all of these years, finally... Well maybe not "finally." After all these years we are at a point where, in a presidential campaign, the Republican nominees have decided to take this on. Head on. Now, you heard Howard Dean. We had the sound bite earlier today. Howard Dean on Sunday was on the ABC show This Week. And he essentially said, "It doesn't matter, because nobody is going to believe that Democrats cut Medicare." It doesn't matter what they say, because nobody believes that.

And Brit Hume, in his question to Paul Ryan, just said, "You really think you can win on this, because the polls say that people automatically think Republicans are the ones that want to cut Medicare. Do you think this is going to be a winning issue?" See, this was my point yesterday in trying to explain why I like the Ryan pick. At some point, this stuff has to be taken on. Now, I'll share it with you here. As the host of a radio program, I'm sitting here for two days in a row talking about Medicare.

And I can tell you that throughout my career, deciding to do that was a death knell. Medicare, the budget, Social Security, talking about that stuff? No, no, no! That's what happened on all the boring public service shows that ran at three in the morning that nobody ever listened to (that were put on the air just to satisfy federal requirements of service to the community). And now here I am. And it's not just this week. We've been talking about this for two days in a row, and basically what am I trying to do here?

What are we all trying to do?

For the second day in a row we're trying to hammer home a simple truth. We have aired a sound bite today of President Obama admitting that he cut $700 billion in Medicare, in an interview with Jacob Tapper in 2009. We played that. We've got the Congressional Budget Office report. We've got Ryan and Romney. We've got Rachel Maddow on Meet the Press on Sunday with Rich Lowery having no clue. We have proven conclusively -- there is no doubt, it's not arguable -- there is not one Republican budget that cuts money out of Medicare.

It's just the opposite.

Medicare is like everything else in this country: It is threatened. Its existence is threatened. Medicare, if nothing changes, is bankrupt in 11-1/2 to 12 years. For two days essentially what we've been trying to get across here (with some of the other things we've discussed, of course) is that it is Barack Obama and the Democrat Party who have cut Medicare. It's gone. Well, it happens as Obamacare's implemented, but it's done if it's not repealed.

They've cut $741 billion out of Medicare. Now, on one hand there are some of us who say, "Damn right! We can't keep spending on these entitlements. We've gotta do some cuts." On the other hand, the argument is: "Wait a minute! I'm fed up with being lied about here. We've actually got a plan that saves this program. People have had it promised to them. They've oriented their lives and their retirement around it just like Social Security."

So for two days, trying to hammer home a simple fact, and it still may not work.  That's what Brit Hume is asking Ryan.  Look it, you really think you can win on this?  All the polls suggest that everybody thinks you guys cut Medicare, that you cut Social Security.  Howard Dean said nobody's going to believe the Democrats cut anything.  Let them say it.  A simple, unarguable fact that the media will not report, that they will not accept.  I'm a little nonplussed over this. I never thought... A lot of things happen I never thought would happen.  But to have as a major objective, to have people accept a simple fact.  That's a very hard thing to do. 

This team, Ryan and Romney, have admittedly bitten off a huge chunk here.  This is a major project they've got.  And all it is, is a simple fact.  It's as true as two plus two is four.  Obama cut $741 billion out of Medicare, and there are people who will not believe it simply because Democrats don't cut.  Democrats care about people.  Republicans don't.  That is etched in the American fabric for so many years now.  Anyway, that's why I like the pick.  It has to happen at some point, folks.  And those of us on the radio can't do it alone.  It has to be something that the party and the movement and the nominees are willing to carry forward.  And they are.  But it still has me amazed that it's this hard.  And maybe it isn't.  We'll find out. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Jacksonville, Florida, Ron, thank you for waiting.  Nice to have you with us.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush, I've been waiting four years to drop this Obama bombshell on you and now it's become a nuke in the past year, if you'll indulge me.  You recall last year when he released his long form birth certificate.  That wasn't the big thing that happened.  You see, everybody tripled down on that short form he released in 2008.  And for the first time Obama himself --

RUSH:  Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  You said you wanted to talk about Newt.

CALLER:  Yeah, okay.  Let me get on about Newt.  Newt was the one who told Ryan that it was right-wing social engineering and Ryan changed the plan, worked with Ron Wyden to make it acceptable to where it wouldn't change everybody, that it would save seniors.

RUSH:  Oh, so we owe all of this to Newt?  Oh.  So Newt criticized Ryan's plan as right-wing social engineering and that forced Ryan to go talk to liberal Democrat Ron Wyden and that made it...  Well, that's interesting, because Wyden is now making tracks out of this as fast as he can backpedal.  He's making Deion Sanders look like an amateur at backpedalling.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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