Less than 48 hours after Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) became GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, the liberal group known as The Agenda Project released an updated version of its infamous advertisement showing a man in a suit pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair off a cliff.
While this move came as no surprise, it's interesting to note that the original version was dubbed “the biggest lie of the year” for 2011 by the liberal PolitiFact Website, which called “the claim by many Democrats that the Republicans voted to end Medicare” as false since the House actually voted to protect Medicare for those 55 years of age and older while privatizing and restructuring it for people who are younger.
The new 41-second spot begins by showing new text that asks: “Remember what Paul Ryan did to Granny?”
After again showing a man in a dark suit pushing a frightened elderly woman in a wheelchair to the edge of a cliff, the new text reads: “Mitt Romney made his choice...”
Once the man has again thrown the woman over the edge, the text continues: “Now you have to make yours,” and concludes by asking: “Is America beautiful without Medicare?”
According to Fox News, the new ad is being shown in Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida, three essential “swing states” in the November presidential election.
When Ryan first announced his budget proposals in 2011, Democrats responded swiftly and viciously. Since that time, attacking the chair of the House Budget Committee for wanting to “end Medicare as we know it” has proven to be a popular strategy for the party.
After the House of Representatives passed Ryan's budget in a party-line vote, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent out a fund-raising appeal that said: “House Republicans’ vote to end Medicare is a shameful act of betrayal.”
In December of that year, PolitiFact.com chose the phrase “Republicans voted to end Medicare” as its “Lie of the Year.”
“After two years of being pounded by Republicans with often false charges about the 2010 health care law, the Democrats were turning the tables,” stated Bill Adair, the website's editor.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Adair was a guest on the CBS Early Show soon after, and he listed several people who had used that phrase, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee.
Noting that the claim is “a classic scare tactic,” Adair said that health care is “a complicated and wonky subject with life-or-death consequences” and therefore is “fertile ground for falsehoods.”
Even when explained accurately, the Republicans’ Medicare plan was not particularly popular with the public, nor with some independent health policy analysts. But the plan was distorted and attacked again and again.
Meanwhile, MSNBC talk show host Ed Schultz said he thought the advertisement was "very effective and is truthful."
Mitch McConnell and his obstructionist buddies in the Senate know Democrats have them backed right into a corner on this radical budget. Senate Republicans have had no problem being in lock step for a record number of filibusters over the last two years, but none of them want to face a web ad like this one.
Schultz stated that GOP officials don`t want to go home and hear their constituents say “Well, gosh. Senator so and so, conservative, voted to put grandma right on over the cliff.'”
Also, MNSBC Hardball host Chris Matthews was apparently amused with the ad since “Paul Ryan may be driving the Republican Party off the cliff.”
After playing a lengthy excerpt of the spot, Matthews chuckled that it's “over the edge, literally.”