This morning, Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter appeared on Face The Nation, where she discussed Obamacare’s $700 billion cuts to Medicare. She touted those cuts as an “achievement”:
Well, you know ask the wealthy to pay a little bit more. Cut waste from the government. Reform Medicare. More than $300 billion in savings from Medicare. On top of the savings we’ve already achieved. You know I heard Mitt Romney deride the $700 billion cuts in Medicare that the president achieved through health care reform.
This is how Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s selection has already shifted the debate. Now the Obama campaign is forced to tout its Medicare cuts as “achievements.” That’s a far cry from the leftists who dominate the Obama camp, who must be crying into their beers at this point – just yesterday, Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, was urging Obama “to draw a clear contrast in 2012 by promising not to cut one penny from Medicare or Social Security benefits.”
This is what the leftist press has also been suggesting. The New York Times lead “journalism” piece said that Ryan’s pick “Gives Obama Chance to Change Subject,” and urged Obama to focus on “the assertion that Republicans are intent on dismantling Medicare.”
But Obama’s campaign isn’t doing that. They’re now pushing cuts to Medicare as a good thing. That’s because Obama wants to steal Romney’s thunder – and more specifically, Ryan’s thunder.
Obama can’t plausibly claim that he has maintained Medicare, because he hasn’t – he’s already slashed it, where Ryan’s plan would shift Medicare’s fundamental structure over time while guaranteeing continuation of benefits to those who are already receiving them. Furthermore, the American people are in the mood for less government, not more. Ryan’s selection has now forced Obama to campaign to the right.