I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Mitt Romney’s skills as a politician, but this may be the single most clever thing he’s done since he came on the national scene.
“There’s another promise he made. You know that every time you get a paycheck you see there’s a deduction there. It’s going to Medicare. It’s going into a trust account to make sure that when you retire, that there’s a health program there that will care for you. One of the things the President did which I find extraordinary, something he never mentioned when he was running for office. You see, when he ran for office, he said he’d protect Medicare. But did you know that he’s taken $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund. He’s raided that trust fund. And you know what he did with it? He’s used it to pay for Obamacare, a risky, unproven federal government takeover of health care. And if I’m President of the United States, we’re putting the $716 billion back.”
Democrats launch knee-jerk Medicare attacks at Republicans as a matter of course and with Ryan on the ticket, you can expect to see more of it than usual as they try to mislead seniors about his plan. What this does is turn the whole issue around. Not only is Romney not going to be on the defensive, he’s going to be the guy who takes the 716 billion dollars out of Obamacare and puts it into Medicare. That makes it impossible for Obama to hold the high ground on the issue. He can’t claim to be the guy protecting Medicare from those SCARY Republicans when he’s the one who wants to pillage 716 billion dollars out of a wildly popular program to put into his atrocious health care bill that polls about as well as whooping cough. Now, every time Obama brings the subject up, Romney has a powerful, easy-to-understand talking point that will give him the upper hand on the issue. “Destroy Medicare? We’re the ones who’re trying to save it. In fact, we’re going to take the 716 billion dollars you took out of Medicare and put it back into the program.”
Game. Set. Match. Romney wins the debate on the issue.