Romney's Veep Choice: Paul Ryan, Koch Ally and 'Right-Wing Social Engineer'
Continued from previous page
Romney already owes some of his success in the primary season to Koch's favorite politicians in Wisconsin. Remember Rick Santorum? Right-wing base types -- Christian evangelicals and Tea Partiers -- just loved him. He was giving Romney a whole lotta agita during the primaries -- first stealing Romney's reported win in the Iowa caucuses back from the Mittster in a recount, and nearly besting Romney in Michigan, where Romney grew up.
In the weeks leading up to the Wisconsin primary, Santorum was running double-digits ahead of Romney. But then Paul Ryan endorsed Romney, and so did the Koch-bought U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. When Ryan began campaigning with Romney in the final days of the campaign, the crowds at Romney events seemed to swell. While conventional wisdom holds that endorsements don't amount to a hill of beans, conventional wisdom had an epic #FAIL on Wisconsin's primary night, when 60 percent of those responding in exit polls said that Romney's endorsers influenced their vote. (Romney also won the endorsements of a number of Americans For Prosperity-backed state legislators.)
But Romney's Ryan pick is not without its minuses, the largest one being running with a guy who has promised to end Medicare and replace it with something else entirely that could wind up costing seniors big-time. Don't be fooled by the fact that Ryan calls his voucher-health-care system for seniors "Medicare". That's just a trick -- like an employer who promises you dental coverage that amounts to a coupon for a discount on a visit to your favorite dentist. As Raw Story's Sahil Kahur noted last year, under Ryan's Not-Medicare "Medicare" plan, seniors would pay significantly more for their health care, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office:
Specifically, by 2030, seniors under the GOP’s transformed program would pay 68 percent of what they’d pay in the private market — up from 25 percent in the status quo scenario.
Of course, photos of the children who would lose health care under the Ryan plan would probably not play well for Romney, either. Democracy Corps, the polling outfit run by Stan Greenberg and James Carville, found Ryan budget to be a drag on Romney's prospects for moving swing voters into his column. (Greenberg refers to the key Obama coalition of unmarried women, youth, and minority voters as the "Rising American Electorate.) From their latest memo, issued in July:
The Ryan budget’s impact on the most vulnerable is powerful among key swing voters, including unmarried women, who shifted a net 10 points toward Obama, the Rising American Electorate (net 3-point shift), and independents (net 9-point shift). Even conservatives were swayed, shifting a net 13 points toward Obama.
Among those who heard an even split of facts about the Ryan budget – including ones about cuts to programs aimed to help mostly lower and working class families – the shift is even more pronounced. With this group of voters, Obama leads Romney by 9 points, 52 to 43 percent, the largest margin of any of the groups in our experiment. It’s clear that focusing on what the Ryan budget does to the most vulnerable Americans can pay dividends for Obama.
Looks like the Koch brothers are going to have to throw a whole lot of money at this thing to make it work for them. But we know they've got plenty of that.