Republicans are finally bringing their “A” game to the Main Stream Media and putting them on defense with nothing for them to defend.
RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW: Republicans should go on offense on Medicare, because the president as part of ObamaCare passed $700 billion in cuts in Medicare. And Romney wants to repeal ObamaCare, including those cuts. So at the top of those…
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Wait, wait, wait.
LOWRY: Hold on. Hold on. So at the top of the ticket, Romney versus Obama, there’s only one of those guys who wants any cuts affecting current seniors.
MADDOW: Wait, wait, wait, does Romney versus Ryan, then. The Ryan plan keeps the Obama cuts for Medicare.
LOWRY: The Ryan plan does…
MADDOW: So is it Romney or Ryan?
LOWRY: …mostly as a matter of just preserving the CBO baseline. But the top of the ticket is Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney wants to repeal those cuts, and the fact is, Rachel …
MADDOW: That’s amazing…
LOWRY: The fact is Rachel if a Republican were proposing $700 billion, had passed $700 billion in Medicare cuts, you’d be savaging that president for their brutality to seniors.
Indeed, as would the media. But instead of going after Obama for real cuts to Medicare, his media have and will continue to distort what’s in Ryan’s plan specifically to save the program.
But I digress:
MADDOW: But what you’re saying…
LOWRY: That is Barack Obama.
MADDOW: Is Romney running on the Ryan plan or not?
LOWRY: He’s running on his own version of those ideas.
MADDOW: That’s amazing.
LOWRY: Paul Ryan is the second on the ticket.
Exactly. What doesn’t Maddow understand about who’s in charge on a presidential ticket? That would be the man at the top.
But this debate got better about ten minutes later:
LOWRY: And this whole idea of the Obama campaign and the Democrats have been pushing that Romney, because he hasn’t said what deductions and loopholes specifically he’s going to close, which no presidential campaign ever does, therefore he’s going to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for lowering rates is an utterly fantasy made out of utter whole cloth.
MADDOW: What he, Paul Ryan was on the Simpson-Bowles Commission and dissented from it because it did raise revenue. He dropped out. He blew that up. He blew up the Gang of Six. He got zero Democratic votes for any of his budgets.
If only Lowry had mentioned that Obama didn’t get any Democratic votes for his own recent budget proposals. But I once again digress:
DAN BALZ, WASHINGTON POST: Not only because of revenue, but he dissented because he did not think it went far enough on healthcare.
LOWRY: Right. And that’s the key thing. Even President Obama, who’s cut $700 billion from Medicare, which I guess you support…
MADDOW: Which Paul Ryan will keep doing…
LOWRY: Do you support $700 billion in cuts in Medicare over the next ten years?
MADDOW: I’m not running for president.
LOWRY: Do you?
MADDOW: I’m not running for anything. Paul Ryan is running for vice president.
LOWRY: Do you? Why can’t you answer? See, you can’t answer.
MADDOW: But wait, I’m not running for anything..
LOWRY: This is the key vulnerability. Democrats have cut $700 billion out of Medicare which you won’t or can’t defend it. Defend it.
MADDOW: Is it good or bad?
LOWRY: Do you support it? You can’t answer.
MADDOW: But wait. Why are you asking me?
LOWRY: You can’t answer. Because you’re an opinion maker who is supposed to give us your opinion. But you will not tell us what your opinion is.
MADDOW: What I want to know is the logic of…
LOWRY: Democrats cannot defend that.
MADDOW: Wait. I want to know is the logic…
LOWRY: Go ahead. Defend it.
MADDOW: What I want to know is the logic.
MADDOW: Wait. Rich, hold on.
LOWRY: Answer me. You’re not answering.
MADDOW: Can I say something?
LOWRY: Can you answer?
MADDOW: Can I say something?
DAVID GREGORY, HOST: Let her answer because I want to go back to Bill Bennett on something.
MADDOW: What I want to know is the logic of attacking somebody for something that you yourself are proposing to do? Paul Ryan proposes keeping those same cuts.
LOWRY: Mitt Romney is not doing it, and those are meat axe cuts. Can I make one last point? One last point?
GREGORY: No, no. I’m going to pull back on this. I want to ask Bill Bennett a separate question. This debate will go on.
Moments later, before answering Gregory’s question, Bennett marvelously said, “Yeah, just listening to Rich and Rachel reminded me of the Irishman who walks by a fight and says, ‘Is this a private fight or can anybody get in on it?’ I’d like to get in on it for a second, but I’ll answer your question.”