President Obama‘s senior strategist David Axelrod led the charge against Paul Ryan Sunday, offering a preview of how the President’s re-election campaign plans to go after Mitt Romney’s new running mate.
“It is a pick that is meant to thrill the most strident voices in the Republican Party, but it’s one that should trouble everybody else, the middle class, seniors, students, because of Ryan’s record,” Axelrod said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday. “I mean, he is a right-wing ideologue, the intellectual energy behind the Republican caucus there in Congress.”
Ryan’s budget proposals — and specifically his plan to overhaul the government’s healthcare program for seniors — would put Medicare into a “death spiral” by “throwing seniors onto the tender mercies of the private insurance market,” Axelrod said.
“They do not believe in Medicare, George, let’s be clear,” he told Stephanopoulos. “Congressman Ryan is an ideologue, who doesn’t believe in the Medicare program. Wanted to do away with it. Newt Gingrich called it right-wing social engineering when he surfaced his Medicare plan, and he was right about that.”
“He is outside the mainstream,” Axelrod said. “This was a defining choice for Mitt Romney, and now it’s also a clarifying choice for the American people.
Axelrod’s comments offer a preview of how the Obama campaign plans to frame the narrative around Ryan, who they claim is a radical conservative whose policies views are too extreme even for members of his own party.
Later on Sunday, Obama echoed his senior strategist, telling donors at a Chicago fundraiser that the race now presents Americans with two fundamentally different visions of how to help the country.
“You have a stark choice, as stark as we’ve seen in a generation, at least,” Obama said.
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