The Romney-Ryan-Reno Medicare gambit

posted at 7:16 pm on August 15, 2012 by Karl

Yesterday, Allahpundit wrote about the new Romney ad going on offense regarding Medicare. Anonymous GOP strategists are worried about the inevitable Mediscare campaign coming from Team Obama. However:

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) circulated a memo to lawmakers and candidates on Monday, obtained by The Hill, that they say offers a road map for winning the debate over Ryan’s proposal.

It calls for candidates to follow the model the party used to win an open seat in Nevada last summer in which now-Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) hammered his Democratic opponent on the spending cuts.

Amodei represents NV-02, which encompasses Reno and — while having a heavy GOP tilt — went narrowly for Obama in 2008. It’s a district Romney-Ryan would have to win to win Nevada.

If you have 10 minutes, here’s the NRCC’s presentation on video:

If you don’t have 10 minutes, you can see one of Amodei’s ads at the 3:38 mark. It finishes with a cameo from Amodei’s mother. The campaign, which also included direct mail to seniors was intended to fight Mediscare to a draw. But Amodei went from being down 26/29 on the Medicare issue to up 41/33.

There are at least three implications of this approach. The first, most obvious implication is that we will almost certainly be seeing Paul Ryan’s mother — a Floridian on Medicare — in upcoming Romney ads. Maybe he will walk the Sunshine State like Lawton Chiles, carrying his mom piggy-back. We are also likely to hear more about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, although the return of the phrase “death panel” may depend on how much the media lets Team O skate on claiming R&R plan to “end Medicare as we know it.”

The second implication is that House and Senate candidates need to think about hanging together on this approach, or they will surely hang separately. Panic and mixed message will only hurt the GOP up and down the ticket.

The third implication from the entire video is more in the subtext. If the Democrats spend a lot of time and money on Mediscare and fail, the debate will ultimately revert to the economy and Obama’s failure to help it get back on track — but less time and money will have been spent personally attacking Mitt Romney and Bain Capital (and Romney will have been pressed less on the details of his economic proposals).

But will things actually play out this way? After all, a special election (Amodei was elected in 2011) in a GOP district may not be representative of Florida, Ohio or anywhere else, particularly regarding how it may play with the national establishment media. Plus, the Amodei campaign had the element of surprise. You can bet Team O has studied it now. Will they have a good counter to this approach? That they won’t is the real Romney-Ryan-Reno gambit.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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The gambit is winnable!
/Bishop!!

Khun Joe on August 15, 2012 at 7:21 PM

When you’re on offense, the other guy is on defense. It’s all about message control.

I like it.

We will win.

BacaDog on August 15, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I think more seniors and soon to be seniors, and even young people, paid a great deal more attention to the health care debate as it raged in ’09 than the media, and even a great many analysts, suspect.

Its why people are responding so positively to the Ryan addition to the ticket. His plan is viewed as the most reasonable antidote to Obamacare, the subsequent gutting of Medicare, and the IPAB.

Young people realize, and have for some time, that the entire entitlement system, particularly Social Security and Medicare are in dire financial difficulty. They also see Ryan’s plan as a reasonable and positive solution that allows them to have decent health care and a good retirement plan while keeping the safety net intact for those who need it.

thatsafactjack on August 15, 2012 at 7:25 PM

The Romney-Ryan-Reno Medicare gambit

Sounds a little like the title for a Leverage episode.

stukinIL4now on August 15, 2012 at 7:26 PM

…attack…attack…attack…respond…attack…everyday until November!

KOOLAID2 on August 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

More than in any other election in decades (if not ever) the grown ups are open to debate the tough issues. Ryan grew a pair proposing his budget a few years ago, and Romney did the same by taking the bold approach of making entitlements the central issue of his campaign. That’s no easy feat. Now the rank and file Reps who have been there too long need to grow a pair too and stop clinging to their favorite programs.

Learn to defend your position, instead of taking the “safe way out”, and you won’t need to be scared about your re-election prospects.

ptcamn on August 15, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Great stuff, Karl. The video is great, and Ace’s take on this is strong, too. Hit the Dems hard for looting Medicare.

John the Libertarian on August 15, 2012 at 7:32 PM

A gambit is when you offer something that may not necessarily produce a reward. What Romney is doing is more like a poisoned pawn (aka. a Trojan horse). The Dems think this is a winning strategy, but Romney ran in a blue state and knows entitlement programs. Yet the irony of all ironies is that Romney has neutered the Left’s attack on him about Romneycare. If they bring it up, then it will lend even more credibility to Ind. that Romney will save Medicare.

Romney’s past flip flops actually puts the Dems in a bind. It’s HILARIOUS! Romney is running as the compassionate conservative who will save Medicare. Read that sentence again. Only Romney could pull off a stunt like this. And I love it.

MrX on August 15, 2012 at 7:33 PM

So much butt hurt to Obama that even Barney Frank is taking a pass.

hillsoftx on August 15, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I love the slide show, but Shields appears to say “Republicans have a strong message that is capable of fighting Medicare to a tie.”

A tie? No, this is win or lose, kill or be killed. I really don’t understand how we can go into this vital battle thinking that we are going to somehow obscure the situation and limp away with a tie. NO, we are going to beat and beat these libs to the ground, because seniors stand to lose much of their service quality thanks to $716 billion of O-Care cuts, and the young will see this country bankrupted, and their medical care degraded, by an unreformed Medicare / O-Care combo.

Play to WIN. I like the slide show, but maybe inspiration and better argument is found in this 4 minute video by Ryan, See it, spread the word about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJIC7kEq6kw&info=RyanMedicare

anotherJoe on August 15, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Grandma Ryan….

YOU have your marching orders!

Protect retirees from the Death Panels of Obama.

KirknBurker on August 15, 2012 at 7:41 PM

I live in Reno, had a front row seat for this. We have “Reagan Democrats” all over Nevada, but particuraly in Reno and the north. Amodei’s campaign successfully brought many back to the fold after Hope and Chains…

And Shelly Berkeley is running the exact same campaign that Kate Marshall did…

Good stuff.

gaius on August 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

America’s Comeback Team……America will have a choice.

Fer our yung uns……….NOT THE COMMIE 2012!

PappyD61 on August 15, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Fire the Death Star everyday……….at anything that threatens.

PappyD61 on August 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM

The first, most obvious implication is that we will almost certainly be seeing Paul Ryan’s mother — a Floridian on Medicare — in upcoming Romney ads.

Yes! And bring some of her friends, too!

We are also likely to hear more about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, although the return of the phrase “death panel” may depend on how much the media lets Team O skate on claiming R&R plan to “end Medicare as we know it.”

Yes!

This is how it’s done.

Rational Thought on August 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM

This Medicare debate from the GOP is similar to the dems debating the GOP on which party is best to lower taxes on all Americans. The GOP will always win the tax issue and the dems will always win on Medicare.

All Obama has to say is if you want to subsidize the GOP Medicare voucher with your own $6,000, vote for Romney. If you want your providers to bear the brunt of the cuts to Medicare, vote for me.

loveofcountry on August 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM

The nervous Nellies notwithstanding, it is not only appropriate and winnable but also NECESSARY to address entitlement reform in the campaign because unless the voters get behind a reform plan, none can pass the Senate even if we obtain a nominal majority. Too many will be too afraid in the face of united Democratic opposition and demagoguery.

Give the American people some credit. When our backs are against the wall, we will respond, and the wall is here right now.

Adjoran on August 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM

I’m Israeli so man I don’t know half of what Karl is talking about.. I’ve never even heard of that “NV-02″ race. But wowza this is some of the wonkiest + targeted analysis I have seen on Hotair. This guy’s got passion, Green Room schmeenroom. Give him a spot on the big board as a poster.

saus on August 15, 2012 at 7:58 PM

So much positivity in the air. If it weren’t for Palin and now McCain offering campaign advice to Obama about replacing Biden with Hillary, it would be a perfect day.

jan3 on August 15, 2012 at 8:01 PM

All Obama has to say is if you want to subsidize the GOP Medicare voucher with your own $6,000, vote for Romney. If you want your providers to bear the brunt of the cuts to Medicare, vote for me.

loveofcountry on August 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Most seniors find they already need to subsidize their Medicare coverage. This is why AARP had their hands all over the healthcare legislation. Heck the AARP ran the teletown halls my Dem congressman was not bright enough to handle on his own.

Bottom line though, Obama et al will have no credibility after this thing is all over except for the few KoolAid drinkers that will never see the light.

msmveritas on August 15, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Romney-Ryan are going hard after Obama on his Medicare THEFT of $ 716 Billions to fund his socialist Obamacare… In fact they are calling it “Theft” and they are saying Obama “Stole” the $ 716 billions from Medicare… Show no mercy…

mnjg on August 15, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Play to WIN. I like the slide show, but maybe inspiration and better argument is found in this 4 minute video by Ryan, See it, spread the word about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJIC7kEq6kw&info=RyanMedicare

anotherJoe on August 15, 2012 at 7:41 PM

In the last slide he indeed said that that we can WIN the Medicare fight and not just a tie…

mnjg on August 15, 2012 at 8:36 PM

So much for the claims that the Republican Leadership doesn’t know what it’s doing.

Excellent presentation.

Kermit on August 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM

So much positivity in the air. If it weren’t for Palin and now McCain offering campaign advice to Obama about replacing Biden with Hillary, it would be a perfect day.

jan3 on August 15, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Palin and McCain are brilliant – they know exactly what they are doing. Obama’s massive ego will NEVER permit him to do what they have already demanded. NEVER.

They’ve made sure he’s stuck with Slow Joe.

Adjoran on August 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM

How about this ad

(Old woman sits in wheelchair at the edge of a cliff)

Announcer: Obamacare has put our seniors on the edge of a cliff

(Man wearing suit – out of focus – approaches from behind)

Announcer: Obamacare takes 716 Billion Dollars out of Medicare to pay for programs that will not benefit seniors

(Man continues to approach… Tension builds)

Announcer: Obamacare puts bureaucrats in charge of seniors’ medical decisions, instead of doctors

(Man comes into focus… It’s Paul Ryan! (oh noes!!!))

Announcer: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will protect Medicare for today’s seniors, and reform the program so it is there for future generations

(Ryan walks around, and kneels down on one knee in front of he woman, and smiles)

Ryan: “Don’t worry ma’am. I’m here to help. Let’s solve this problem

(Commercial ends with Ryan pushing the woman in the wheelchair back toward a waiting car)

Haiku Guy on August 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM

In the last slide he indeed said that that we can WIN the Medicare fight and not just a tie…

mnjg on August 15, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Indeed he does, and it’s definitely worth watching in full. I like Shields emphasis on “experimental evidence,” although as far as coming up with campaigns to defeat O & the Dems, we can often rely on common sense argument. The first argument is that Medicare, as it stands now, in combination with the ball and chain of Obamacare, is going to bankrupt this country and provide horrible medical care. That’s the argument for those under 50, and for those in their 20s! O-Care is going to cut $716 billion out of Medicare right away. That, along with the first argument, is the argument for seniors.
We have the winning hand! I started to really realize that after watching the Ryan video that I linked to earlier. Yesterday’s Romney ad on O taking the $716B from Medicare “to pay for O-Care… a massive new govt program that’s not for you” was the coup de gras, was the final thing that made me realize that we’ve -clearly- got the winning hand! Some chess players may “play for a draw,” but we need to play to win on M-Care / O-Care!

anotherJoe on August 15, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Here in CT, just one day after she won the primary, Linda McMahon already got and acted on this memo!

Got a robocall this afternoon from a little old lady voice. Said Linda’s Obamacare loving opponent is already taking 716 billion out of Medicare for current seniors.

Little old lady was upset and urged me to vote for Linda who would make sure Medicare was left alone for seniors.

It was pretty impressive. McMahon is all. over. this.

marybel on August 15, 2012 at 9:51 PM

We are advancing constantly, and we’re not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold onto him by the nose, and we’re going to kick him in the ass. We’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time, and we’re going to go through him like crap through a goose.

Any questions?

Fighton03 on August 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Haiku Guy on August 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Pure Gold.

Fighton03 on August 16, 2012 at 12:11 AM

All Obama has to say is if you want to subsidize the GOP Medicare voucher with your own $6,000, vote for Romney. If you want your providers to bear the brunt of the cuts to Medicare, vote for me.

loveofcountry on August 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM

“Vote for me and get it for free”.

Fighton03 on August 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Karl, NV-02 did not go narrowly for Obama. McCain received 88 more votes than the ‘Dear Reader’ in the district. The District encompasses far more than Reno, in geographical area it is the 3D largest in the U.S. with over 100,000 square miles and the conservative ‘Cow Counties’ normally offset the bay area carpetbaggers who have colonized Reno.
It’s NOT the 2D districts fault that Dingy Harry keeps getting re-elected.

organczar on August 16, 2012 at 12:51 AM

All Obama has to say is if you want to subsidize the GOP Medicare voucher with your own $6,000, vote for Romney. If you want your providers to bear the brunt of the cuts to Medicare, vote for me.

loveofcountry on August 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM

And why would the “Providers” do such a thing? Is this a Star Trek episode?

“I bet Three Thousand Quatloos on the newcomers!”

Haiku Guy on August 16, 2012 at 5:22 AM

“Plus, the Amodei campaign had the element of surprise. You can bet Team O has studied it now. Will they have a good counter to this approach?”

Well, the Republicans are telling the truth, and it’s not like Obama can abandon ObamaCare. I think Obama and his advisers were busy remembering 1996, when Clinton murdered Dole on Medicare in the Spring, and forgetting that things are different now:

1: Clinton hadn’t signed a law to cut Medicare.
2: Dole didn’t ahve money to respond, and didn’t have Super-PACs to respond for him.
3: Dole didn’t have significant press coverage where he could fight Clinton.

Current situation:
1: Super-PACs can get the word out that ObamaCare cuts Medicare for current seniors.
2: Ryan and Romney are both out there saying the same thing, and getting press coverage saying it.
3: In less than two weeks, the General election begins for the Republicans, and Romney will have all the money he needs to blanket the airwaves with “ObamaCare cuts Medicare for current Seniors.” Obama needs a KO on the subject before then, and he’s not getting it.

You would expect that the Democrats have been focus-grouping for a message for the last year. Where is it? That’s not something you want to save for a week before the election. You want it out there, right now, getting in people’s heads. Instead what’s getting in people’s heads is “Obama cut Medicare $716 billion for current Seniors, Romney-Ryan has no changes for current Seniors.”

DSW tried “youngsters will be seniors when Romney-Ryan affects them”, and got laughed off the air, by Wolfe Blitzer IIRC. That’s not going to fly.

At some point, I expect the Democrats will try to roll back the Medicare cuts in ObamaCare. At which point the republicans refuse to waive PayGo, and make the Democrats come up with $716 billion in new taxes.

Won’t that be fun. :-)

Greg Q on August 16, 2012 at 8:05 PM