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."
How did so flawed a man as Newt Gingrich get to the top of his party in the 1990s? For that matter, how did so flawed a man as Bill Clinton get to the top of our government in the 1990s? And — here I am giving you a hint to the answer for the above questions — how did so flawed a man as Dominique Strauss-Kahn get to the top of the International Monetary Fund and of French politics? All are about the same age. All have similar, shall we say, recreations. The answer is that they came from what is called the 1960s generation. Now they are gone. There will be temporary reprises — more court appearances for DSK, an occasional public appearance for Bill, some more catastrophic missteps on the campaign trail for Newt — but for all intents and purposes, they are history.
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) --
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.
A clearly amused Chris Matthews narrated and laughed at a liberal ad showing Republican Paul Ryan murdering an elderly woman by throwing her off a cliff. This is the same MSNBC anchor who railed against "ugly" conservative talk and wondered if it led to the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
After playing a lengthy excerpt, Matthews enthused, "Boy, I love the point of view on that one as she tries to slow down with her feet. Anyway, the irony here, Paul Ryan may be driving the Republican Party off the cliff..." Earlier he played a clip and snickered at the image of Congressman Ryan dropping a screaming grandmother to her death.
In contrast, on the January 11, 2011 Hardball, Matthews highlighted the shooting of Giffords and foamed, "People like Mark Levin, Michael Savage, for example who every time you listen to them are furious, furious at the Left with anger that just builds and builds in their voice, and by the time they go to commercial, they’re just in some rage, every night, with ugly talk. Ugly sounding talk."
If the Wall Street Republicans and the conservative Republicans don't resolve their differences and work as a TEAM ("together everyone achieves more"), we will go back to having a Democratic majority in Congress and President Barack Obama will be re-elected for another four years.
Ripples began to form last year when then Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky spouted what some say were typical libertarian views but what to others sounded like criticisms of the fixed and firm Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Remember all that talk four months ago in the wake of the Tucson shootings that political commentators needed to tone down their rhetoric?
MSNBC's Chris Matthews certainly doesn't, for on Monday's "Hardball," he called Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) Medicare plan a 'killer politically" and a "death certificate" for Republicans (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC's David Gregory must have thought he had performed another gotcha on a prominent Republican Sunday when he cited a poll to his "Meet the Press" guest Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) finding people aren't interested in reducing Medicare spending in order to balance the budget.
Without skipping a beat, Ryan marvelously educated his host saying, "I don't consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policies should be. Leaders change the polls" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday’s Political Capital show on Bloomberg News, as host Al Hunt turned the discussion to Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson attacked Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare reform as she voiced supposed agreement with Gingrich that "it is right-wing social engineering to destroy Medicare as we know it."
She then went on to suggest that Gingrich plays "skinhead politics."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, May 20, Political Capital on Bloomberg News:
Ed Schultz on Thursday mocked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as a young, inexperienced kid who's never run a business, never had to meet payroll, and who offered up a radical plan that he doesn’t know the ramifications of.
As the host of the "Ed Show" whined, he clearly missed the irony that these very same things were said about the former junior senator from Illinois prior to Election Day 2008 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In his Thursday column for the Washington Examiner, Philip Klein wonders whether there is a "Rendezvous with Destiny" in the country's near future akin to that which saw Ronald Reagan enact sweeping reforms to the nation's tax code, in a plan devised, initially, by Congressman Jack Kemp. Now Congressman Paul Ryan, who worked for Kemp and and cites the former congressman as his mentor, may have his Ronald Reagan in potential Republican presidential candidate Mitch Daniels. But Daniels has some heavy baggage among the Republican electorate. Can he fairly be compared to Reagan? Check out an excerpt from Klein's column below the break, and let us know what you think.
Tuesday’s New York Times featured a rare excursion into print by Timothy Egan, liberal Times reporter turned leftist nytimes.com blogger, excoriating Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan and the "Tea Party political illiterates" as greed-heads for wanting to reform the bankrupt Medicare system: "The Need for Greed."
The bet was audacious from the beginning, and given the miserable, low-down tenor of contemporary politics, not unfathomable: Could you divide the country between greedy geezers and everyone else as a way to radically alter the social contract?
But in order for the Republican plan to turn Medicare, one of most popular government programs in history, into a much-diminished voucher system, the greed card had to work.
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had a tough day on "Meet the Press" Sunday.
So troubling was his performance that syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer told "Special Report's" Bret Baier Monday, "He’s done...This is a capital offense...It's over" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
When an admittedly liberal Nobel laureate in economics thinks trying to balance the budget is holding America hostage, one has to wonder if there are any adults remaining on the left side of the aisle.
Consider what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote Monday:
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Sunday that Democrats should risk a debt default to avoid being blackmailed by Republicans that are holding a bomb "over our head" in the form of serious budget cuts.
This came moments after FDIC chair Sheila Bair told ABC's "This Week" panel, "I think maybe there's a little too much testosterone in this debate. It’s too much about winning and losing and not enough both sides are right, let’s come together and have a solution" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson on Friday joined the ranks of liberal media members claiming Republican calls for Democrats to stop saying the GOP is trying to destroy Medicare is hypocritical due to their support for Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) budget proposal.
When he got his chance to address this absurdity, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer marvelously set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Saturday's World News on ABC highlighted complaints from Democrats about the Medicare reform plan proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan as the Wisconsin Republican seeks to restrain the growth of Medicare spending by having private insurers compete for seniors as customers.
Without delving into the Republican argument in favor of using private insurance, correspondent David Kerley recounted the complaints of angry constituents, showing clips of audience members shouting at Republican members of Congress during town hall meetings. Kerley concluded by passing on Democratic hopes of the Medicare plan being a political "gift" that would hurt Republicans. Kerley: "Democrats believe that Republicans have really handed them a gift with their vote to change Medicare. It's a vote that Democrats are already using in TV ads and fundraising calls as well."
Anchor David Muir then previewed an interview with Congressman Ryan for ABC’s This Week show and brought aboard This Week host Christiane Amanpour, who ended up referring to claimst that the Ryan budget proposal contains "drastic" cuts that other Republicans may need to back away from. After noting that Ryan is committed to the plan regardless of political consequences, Amanpour continued: "And many are now saying that perhaps the Republicans will start running away from the Ryan plan because of the drastic cuts he calls for in Medicare and Medicaid and other such programs."
Over the past few days the chatter about a potential presidential run by Rep. Paul Ryan has really heated up. Over at the Huffington Post, Jon Ward reports that RNC chair Reince Preibus - like Ryan, a Wisconsin native - might be put in an akward position give his closeness to the Budget Committee chairman, and has thus been testing the waters of a potential Ryan candidacy. At Reuters, James Pethokoukis offers some reasons that a Ryan candidacy may be in the cards:
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday played up how opponents of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan shouted down GOP representatives at recent town hall meetings, but downplayed them as "less than friendly," and marveled at their apparently "poignant" questions. The network also omitted how liberal groups targeted these meetings, and trumpeted the "nasty national shouting match" at health care town hall meetings in 2009.
News anchor Jeff Glor noted how "House Republicans are back home for the first time since passing an aggressive deficit cutting plan, including the architect of that plan, Congressman Paul Ryan." Glor used the "less than friendly" label immediately before playing a clip of an unidentified protester shouting, "Ryan, stop lying!" outside a town hall meeting held by the Republican in Wisconsin, and another of a woman who directly accused him of "screwing our generation and the next generation."
Ed Schultz's pattern of accusing Republicans of lying moments before lying himself continued Tuesday evening.
Just moments after calling House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) liars, the host of MSNBC's "Ed Show" misinformed his viewers about Medicare (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Picking up from flustered colleague Bob Schieffer, who on the April 17 Face the Nation demanded of Congressman Paul Ryan, “Why do these rich people need another tax cut? I mean, they're already rich,” CBS reporter Nancy Cordes on Tuesday night asked him: “Do you think that you would be getting more support out there if you didn't include this big tax cut for the wealthy?”
Cordes insisted “35 percent to 25 percent is a big cut,” though Ryan’s plan is meant to be revenue neutral, or even give a boost, as he explained the rate reduction is “in exchange for losing their tax shelters.”
Cordes pressed Ryan from the left on tax rates after her story featured soundbites of liberal hostility to Ryan and other Republicans at town hall meetings, some clips taken from video posted by a left-wing site, clips which included a woman screaming “your plan screws the next two generations!” and “You're a liar!” before video of a crowd yelling “Hands off Medicare!” and a close-up of this sign: “PAUL RYAN’S DEATH PANEL KILL MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY.”
Once again, a presumably simpatico guest on "The Rachel Maddow Show" undermined a claim she made on the same show.
This occurred twice in the same week back in March, as I described at the time. It happened again Friday night when Maddow talked about Republican congressmen facing constituents angered by the GOP budget plan. Maddow compared this to the contentious public forums on health reform in August 2009.
Here's what Maddow said about the Republican budget's effect on Medicare, followed by her guest claiming something altogether different (video after page break) --
If you had any questions about just how far to the left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is, they were answered Monday when he expressed enthusiastic support for the Congressional Progressive Caucus's radical tax-hiking "People's Budget."
In his "Let's Take a Hike," the Nobel laureate left no doubt about his desire to swiftly redistribute America's wealth with little regard for the economic consequences: