FROM: RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer |@seanspicer
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Weekend Messaging Memo: GOP on Medicare Offense
Over the last week, you've seen Republicans on offense on Medicare, putting President Obama and the Democrats on desperate defense.
Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan have outlined their plan to protect Medicare for seniors and those near retirement and to strengthen Medicare for future generations. The Democrats, meanwhile, have fallen back to typical tactics: demagogue the issue, distort the Republican position, and attempt to scare seniors.
But it's not working. That's because President Obama is the only president who took over $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. (In this 2009 interview, he was even proud of it.) Obama-Biden is the only ticket without a plan to save Medicare. With no plan, they let Medicare go bankrupt in twelve years, which will mean either reduced benefits or higher taxes.
In contrast, the Romney plan will protect Medicare for today's seniors. And by strengthening the program for those under 55, Romney and Ryan will keep Medicare solvent into the future.
The focus on Medicare further exposes the president's hypocrisy and reminds voters of his many broken promises. He knows there's a problem; he wrote about it in his 2006 book. In a 2008 debate, he said he wanted to pursue reform in his first term as president. Yet, four years later, he still has no plan. He only cares about Medicare if he can demagogue the issue.
The president has no credibility on the issue, and as such, he has no ground to stand on in this debate. (Watch CNN's Wolf Blitzer expose DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Medicare distortions.)
As is the case on nearly every issue--the economy, jobs, the deficit, ethics--there is a wide gulf between President Obama's rhetoric and his record.
So it's no surprise the president has been avoiding the press lately. As I pointed out in a Tuesday memo, President Obama has not taken questions from the White House press corps in over eight weeks. I noted 10 pressing questions on which the American people deserve answers, and Medicare is at the top of the list:
1) Why did you cut $700 billion from Medicare?
2) Do you condemn the Obama SuperPAC's desperate and despicable ad campaign?
3) How do you explain the July increase in unemployment and slowing GDP growth?
4) Why is your plate too full for your own Jobs Council?
5) Did you approve of David Plouffe's profiting from a sponsor of terrorism?
6) Can you explain to business owners your "You didn't build that" comment?
7) Do you condone your staff using personal email accounts to conduct government business?
8) Why didn't you stop the restructuring of Solyndra's loan?
9) Why did you invoke executive privilege on the Fast and Furious scandal?
10) Can you reconcile the conflicting responses to national security leaks?
And after Joe Biden's campaign stops this week, we have a few more questions. (We'd probably have even more if Vice President Biden's staff had not edited the press pool report.)
It's not as though the president doesn't have time for press. He's done recent interviews with Top 40 radio, People magazine, and Entertainment Tonight. It makes you wonder if he's running for a second term or a spot on Dancing with the Stars.
But more to the point: A president doing Entertainment Tonight--and avoiding the White House press--is not a president who thinks he's winning the Medicare debate.
Elections Election 2012