House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) conceded on Thursday that the Republican Medicare plan played a “small part” in the GOP’s surprising defeat in the NY-26 special election earlier this week.
“Special elections are just that — special,” he told reporters at a press conference to unveil a GOP jobs plan, noting the presence of self-funded “Tea Party” candidate Jack Davis as a complicating factor in the race, but not as an excuse for the party’s poor performance in a deep-red district. “I could be somewhat critical of how the campaign was run, but the fact is we didn’t win,” Boehner added. “And the small part of the reason we didn’t win clearly had to do with Medicare.”
But the speaker did not shy away from the GOP plan, offering a vigorous deference, citing “three facts about Medicare.”
“Fact: The only plan out there to preserve and protect Medicare for current and future retirees is the plan that we’ve put forth,” he said. “Fact Number Two: The only people in Washington, D.C., who have voted to cut Medicare have been the Democrats when they voted to cut $500 billion in Medicare during Obamacare. The Third Fact: The Democrats plan is to do nothing, and the trustees of Medicare have made clear that doing nothing means that the plan will go bankrupt and seniors’ benefits will be cut.”
“We have outlined a plan, frankly, that we believe in,” Boehner added. “The Democrats have no plan, which is going to lead to bankruptcy and cuts to seniors’ benefits. It’s about time they were honest with the American people.”