The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret BaierMonday, August 13, 2012

On the possible impact of Paul Ryan on Governor Romney’s campaign:

If the Democrats succeed in defining [Ryan] — The most impressive poll you showed about Ryan is [that] half of Americans have no opinion [about him]. So this is a tabula rasa. The two sides will try to paint very quickly. If the Democrats succeed in painting him as a guy who will throw your grandma in the snow and then toss her over a cliff, they [the Republicans] are going to lose states like Iowa or Florida, which are heavily senior, and that loses the election.

I think these charges can be easily refuted. Assuming that they are able to deflect or counter the charges on Medicare, Ryan is a huge plus. Number one, he makes it a more ideological election. In a center-right country, as we saw in 2010, [if] you make this election about Obama’s hyper-liberalism, the Democrats are shellacked. Secondly, he changes the subject to ideas and plans, which makes Obama have to discuss his record, which is a bad one, and the plans he has for a second term, which are none– essentially, I’ll raise four points in taxes on two percent of the population — and that is supposed to be a cure for our structural problems? It’s a joke.

Lastly, the idea that he [Ryan] is an extremist — to scare people… the guy looks like a boy scout, like a choir boy — it’s simply not going to work. I think he brings youth and energy, which is something Obama had in 2008 and he has entirely spent in these four years.

On Romney’s budget plan:

 It’s a good idea for him to always turn every attack or challenge on the [Republican] plan into: What is Obama — what is his plan? He doesn’t have a record. He doesn’t have a plan. He doesn’t offer anything.

If you play defense between now and Election Day, you are going to lose.

On President Obama’s failure to deliver promised entitlement reforms:

He hasn’t only not done it, [but] when the Republicans attempted to propose a serious plan, the Ryan plan, and the House passed it, he demagogued it. He had a speech at George Washington University where he was supposed to roll out — it was advertised as rolling out — his plan on entitlements and he didn’t have anything of the sort. It was an attack entirely on the Ryan [plan]– he called it un-American — incidentally, with Ryan as a guest sitting in the front row. Mute. So that is how he has handled entitlements.

I think the idea of the Democrats, if you saw the ad that you showed early in the show, it has seniors in Florida saying: he wants to privatize [Medicare] and take it away. It is so dishonest because they [the Democrats] cannot say openly it [the Ryan plan] will take away or privatize the Medicare of seniors today because that is not true. So they show seniors who are saying what is not true — that it’s going to hurt them or at least implying it’s going to hurt them — as a way to give the impression that actually the Ryan plan is going to affect seniors.

Nobody over the age of 55 is going to be affected. The Republicans have to get that out right away or they’re going to lose on this.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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