Michael Tomasky: Well, leave it to Mitt Romney of all people to put Paul Ryan on his ticket and then move immediately thereafter to distance himself from the Ryan budget. It’s so typical of everything we’ve seen of this semi-vertebrate. Try to bathe in Ryan’s refracted glory to right wingers while trying to tell seniors hey, psst, this is not really my thing, get it? Unbelievable.
It’s important to keep track of the Medicare lies, as they’re bound to pile up. The basic deal is that the Romney-Ryan line about Obama cutting $716 billion while they’ll “strengthen” the program is, shockingly I know, a lie. Ryan’s Medicare program cuts the same $716 billion! And then it cuts even more. And then, Romney’s proposal, insofar as it can be divined because as usual the details are scant, would likely cut even more than that.
…. I trust you saw the USA Today/Gallup poll yesterday showing that Ryan is the second least-approved of vice-presidential choice in the last quarter century …. “If the Democrats handle this right” is always a big if, but if they do, this ticket has the makings of a disaster.
Jonathan Cohn (TNR): Have you seen Mitt Romney’s new ad on Medicare? …. It’s not very subtle. And it’s not very true.
By now, you should know all about the hypocrisy of Romney attacking Obama for cutting Medicare. Paul Ryan put the same cuts in his budget plan. And while Romney has insisted he’d restore them, his budget doesn’t have room for that. If he’s serious about his overall spending plan, then he’d surely have to cut Medicare by as much as Obama did. In fact, he’d probably have to cut it by even more. And that’s just in the first ten years.
Still, the power of this ad is the appeal to senior citizens: Obama is taking your money and giving it somebody else. That’s why Romney and his allies keep saying that Obama “raided” Medicare. But, under the Affordable Care Act, a chunk of the money that comes out of Medicare goes right back into it. It helps seniors pay for prescription drugs, filling in the donut hole from Medicare Part D. It also allows seniors to get preventative care without co-pays, which means they can get an annual wellness visit, cancer screenings, and the like with no out-of-pocket costs. In the first half of this year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than a million seniors have saved an average of $629 on their drug bills because of this assistance.
…this business about “raiding” Medicare? It’s a naked appeal to selfishness and brazen misrepresentation of reality.
Michael Cohen (NY Daily News): …. if you really want to talk about who is playing the race card this year, it’s worth briefly revisiting the latest attack ad from the Romney campaign on welfare….
It might seem odd to the untrained observer that welfare is even being prominently featured in this campaign. It’s hardly an issue of pressing concern among voters. But of course, welfare never is and never has been just about policy; it’s really about politics and in particular, racial politics.
Romney accuses Obama of gutting welfare reform by granting waivers to state governments in how they choose to implement the law. It’s a charge that is completely without merit; spun from whole cloth; an invented attack line. But again, lying on the campaign trail about President Obama’s record is the rule, not the exception, for Mitt Romney.
… What’s most striking about the ad are the visuals – workers wiping their brow; working class Americans toiling away at manufacturing jobs. And coincidentally all the people in the ad … are white. This might not mean much, except for the fact that, as anyone who has followed American politics for the past 45 years knows, criticisms of the welfare system from the campaign trail have habitually always been used as racial code in attacks on Democrats for coddling blacks. It is the symbol of wasteful government spending, rewarding poor Americans for not working and creating a culture of dependency.
…. Indeed, this ad and in fact this whole line of attack is one of the most blatant uses of racial coding in a presidential campaign since the Willie Horton ad of 1988….
4:30: VP Biden delivers remarks at Spiller Elementary School, Wytheville, Va.
5:00: President Obama delivers remarks at B.R. Miller Middle School in Marshalltown, Iowa
8:45: President Obama delivers remarks at the Waterloo Center for the Arts in Waterloo, Iowa
OFA: During a quick stop off in Denison, IA on the first day of President Obama’s bus tour across Iowa, there was a young supporter who had to get to the bottom of something that had been puzzling him for some time.
“Are you Spider-Man’s boss?”
And the President’s response…
“Well, I’m the Commander-in-Chief. But Spider-Man is a free agent.”