As the 2012 Republican presidential candidates meet in New Hampshire tonight to debate who’s more conservative, it appears there will be an uninvited guest — namely, the Democrats.
As the debate plays out, an ad from a liberal health care reform group will continue its second day of heavy airtime in the Boston market. The Medicare ad, from Protect Your Care, attacks the Republican candidates where they could be must vulnerable in the near future. The simple 30-second ad ends with a simple message: “Stop the Republican Plan to Cut Medicare.”
Tim Pawlenty and the other hopefuls are expected to hit Mitt Romney hard over the former Massachusetts governor’s own health care plan. Romney must simultaneously defend his plan while proving his own conservative credentials. It’s the Paul Ryan budget plan, however, that will have every serious contender walking a fine line between praising the idea of the plan and not opening themselves up to Medicare-focused attacks from Democrats and groups like Protect Your Care.
Democrats are concerned enough about other issues — like an unimproved economy — to start attacking all the Republican candidates very, very early in the process. It’s a curious strategy and, as if the debate ad blast wasn’t enough, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will also be in New Hampshire tonight offering a rebuttal of the Republican debate.