Democrats respond to Ryan pick as running mate

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Democrats responded Saturday morning to the announcement that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan would be the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, attacking Ryan on economic issues.

In particular, the attacks focus on Ryan’s budget plan that has passed the House of Representatives the last two years, which included cuts to entitlement programs as a way to deal with skyrocketing debt.

In a statement, Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina maligned the pick:

“In naming Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has chosen a leader of the House Republicans who shares his commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy. The architect of the radical Republican House budget, Ryan, like Romney, proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors. As a member of Congress, Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeating the same, catastrophic mistakes.”

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel took a similar tack in a statement:

“Congressman Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are a match made in millionaires’ heaven, but they’ll be a nightmare for seniors who’ve earned their Medicare benefits,” Israel said in a statement. For the last 18 months, we’ve said Republicans will have to defend the indefensible — their vote to end Medicare. Now with Congressman Ryan on the ticket, House Republicans face the one thing they hoped to avoid — a national debate on their budget that puts millionaires first and Medicare and the middle class last.”

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, also went after Ryan in a statement:

“Paul Ryan brings to Mitt Romney’s candidacy a strong commitment to end Medicare as we know it. The disastrous Romney-Ryan plan would take us back to the same failed policies of the Bush years that drove our country into recession and record job losses. Their plan hurts middle class families, encouraging companies to ship jobs overseas instead of creating them here at home, while cutting taxes for millionaires at the same time that it cuts education opportunities for students. And the Romney-Ryan plan would be absolutely devastating for America’s seniors, ending the Medicare guarantee and shifting thousands of dollars in healthcare costs to them, leaving older Americans on their own. The choice between two different visions for our future could not be any clearer: whether we continue working to move our country forward and grow our economy under President Obama’s leadership, or whether we make a disastrous gamble on the economic security of middle class families and seniors under the Romney-Ryan plan.”

The attacks echo those Democrats used when the Ryan plan first came out.

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