To defend Ryan on Medicare, Romney points to Wyden (who bristles)


With Democrats attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposals, Mitt Romney is pointing to Democratic senator Ron Wyden to give his running mate some political cover.

But the (Jewish) senator from Oregon isn’t pleased to be used as Exhibit A in defense of Ryan’s bipartisanship.

The Oregonian reports:

"This man said I’m going to find Democrats to work with," Romney said. Then, refering to Wyden and Ryan’s work on Medicare, Romney added, "He found a Democrat to co-lead a piece of legislation."

Wyden fired back Saturday evening that Romney is "talking nonsense."

Here’s how Wyden responded:


Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not ‘co-lead a piece of legislation.’ I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. Governor Romney needs to learn you don’t protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments today sure won’t help promote real bipartisanship.

The Oregonian has more context:

Republicans and Romney in particular have publicly tried to blunt criticism of Ryan’s unpopular plans for Medicare by invoking Ryan’s work with Wyden, a Democrat, on reforming Medicare that was released in December. That package, however, is different from the ideas Ryan advocated in a formal budget proposal that passed the House. Wyden voted against that budget when it came to the Senate.

The plan Wyden and Ryan presented in December is a hybrid of earlier ideas, modified and repackaged in a way they hoped would soften the partisan political turmoil. The political fallout, however, is not new for Wyden, only more intense and high-stakes.

Politico reported back in January that some Democrats were peeved at Wyden’s work with Ryan.

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