Mitt Romney takes a stand: He would eliminate Medicare

Throughout the Republican debate season, former front-runner Mitt Romney has been long on platitudes, but less specific on his positions within the Republican weltanschauung. Romney has tended to verbalize adopted positions with near universal acceptance within the G.O.P. and then contrast himself with President Obama.

Now with Newt Gingrich surging in multiple G.O.P. primary polls, the Mitt Romney campaign is being forced to take concrete stances—offer some ideological nuance—in order to differentiate himself from Newt. Will Mitt tack to the left? Will he cut back to the right?

Apparently, it is that latter. Today, during the daily Romney for President press conference call, Mitt went right-wing extreme. Sen. Jim Talent and Gov. John Sununu took up the case for Mitt, spinning his previously wishy-washy stance on the Ryan plan for Medicare into something concrete.

The Ryan plan would eliminate Medicare as it exists now and replace it with a voucher system. The plan would, more or less, privatize Medicare.

Gov. Sununu starts out criticizing Newt:

For Newt Gingrich, in an effort of self-aggrandizement, to come out and throw a clever phrase that has no other purpose than to make him sound a little smarter than the conservative Republican leadership, to undercut Paul Ryan, is the most self-serving, anti-conservative thing one can imagine happening. He gave the liberals and the Democrats the ammunition they needed to moot, if you will, at least for the time being, Paul Ryan’s presentation.

He then asserts Mitt’s support for the plan:

Mitt Romney supports what Paul Ryan did. He endorsed what Paul Ryan did. Mitt Romney had his own package of entitlement reform, which Paul Ryan has praised. They both meshed together. They are both based on really understanding entitlement reform.

and later on:

Paul Ryan’s plan which Mitt Romney supported is the solid basis for moving forward on entitlement reform. And Newt Gingrich not only rejected it then, but he rejected repeatedly by saying I was right what I said that it was wrong and the fact is that Newt Gingrich to this day still continues to undermine Paul Ryan.

Okay…Mitt Romney, 8 Dec 2011, is pro-Ryan plan. That is, Mitt supports eliminating Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system.

Remember this, folks, because if Mitt wins the nomination, he’s got some major Mitt-flopping to do. The public overwhelmingly rejects this radical plan. Mitt owns it now.

I believe you can envision the simple modifications needed for this ad:


  1. 2

    Zotz sez: The word of the day is fellatiate. spews:

    What total fuck ups Romney and his people are… You know the real beauty part?

    In the increasingly unlikely event that the Mittster somehow fends off the Newtster, he’ll have completely destroyed his chances of winning a general election.

    Sunnunu (recalling his time as Bush 1’s aide) blasted Newt today (I think in the same event) for going back on his promise to support Bush’s tax increase after his “read my lips pledge” that the R base went apoplectic about. When you’re trying out-conservative the Newtster in the R primary, how braindead is that? (Hint: totally braindead)

  2. 3

    rhp6033 spews:

    I think Romney is trying to slip through the eye of the needle on this issue. He’s using other people to attack Newt. This means that nobody’s going to have video of him saying he wants to privatize Medicare.

    Then, in the general election, he probably plans to claim “I never said that!” and refer people to his “plan”, which he won’t quote, he will just ask everyone to read it (if they can find it).

    The plan itself will be so confusing and full of generalities that anybody can claim it means whatever they want it to mean. He’s relying on Fox News and the Republican Scream Machine to cover his tracks with confusing statements and attacking anyone who interprets it negatively.

  3. 4

    rhp6033 spews:

    Of course, that’s the whole reason why Romney has been quiet so long. His “rose garden” strategy of staying above the fray was an attempt to avoid getting video of him making quotes which can be broadcast on TV in the general election. He briefly departed from that strategy, and the Democrats immediately benefited from his “Corporations are people too, my friend!” comment. But now that he’s behind, he can’t afford to do that anymore.

    By the way, one analysts on BBC radio this morning said that if Romney loses to Gingrich in New Hampshire, it’s all over for him. If Romney can’t take a neighboring New England state, then what hopes does he have in the South?

  4. 6


    How is giving government services over to corporate cronies (who already have purchased the government)’privatizing’?

    It’s just theft by a monied elite.

  5. 7

    Politically Incorrect spews:


    Do you think we could turn over the DMV to the corporations? Maybe getting your license renewed wouldn’t take all day and be a royal pain in the ass to have to deal with the surly individuals who work there.

  6. 8

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    I was thinking that, indeed, after an interlude of klown kar komedians (Bachmann-Perry-Cain) that was meant to mollify the rabble, that the Republican establishment would engineer Mitt’s ascension, with hefty doses of money from the Mormons, a la that deeply weird “I’m a Mormon” repackaging campaign.

    I’m not so sure.

    I do think that both Cain and Newt got in this thing for the money, and Cain is breathing a sigh of relief, if he has any sense at all, that his campaign-cum-performance art has imploded.

    Newt is left holding the bag, however. He may actually win – which is totally fitting, since he didn’t really want to, and would prefer the private life of making lots and lots of cash and banging interns, and Mitt does want to win, badly, but can’t seem to figure out how to do it, and it’s slipping away between his fingers. It’s a regular Greek tragedy.

  7. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 7: It would be different, but not better.

    The workers would be paid less, but we would be charged more, with the corporations picking up the difference as their profit or as executive compensation & bonuses.

    Some people would get special priviledges, such as express lines for those willing to fork over more money, and much longer waits for the rest than we currently experience since the corporations would try to encourage people to pay the higher fee. Look to the airlines as the model.

    Of course, certain highly favored people would get extra-special privileges (friends & family of corporate bigshots, lobbyists, politicians) which would be illegal, but since it’s a private company fewer instances would become known. “Gee, the son of a bigshot gets a driver’s license despite failing the driving test five times in a row? We aren’t sure how that happened, but we will investigate and get back to you in a decade or so…”

    I don’t expect a public worker to smile at me and kiss my but. I expect them to do their job fairly and competently, with no special favors to anybody. Is that really so big a problem that we should instead turn it over to corporations who’s stated purpose is to maximize profit, rather than serve the public?

  8. 10


    Politically Incorrect @ 7,

    Do you think we could turn over the DMV to the corporations? Maybe getting your license renewed wouldn’t take all day and be a royal pain in the ass to have to deal with the surly individuals who work there.

    What the fuck are you babbling about? I’ve never needed more than 20 or 30 minutes at a WA DMV, and my last license renewal was done via the mail. I sincerely doubt a private company could do better.

    In fact, a month ago, Kathy had her wallet stolen on a Saturday morning. Saturday at 12:15pm we walked into a very busy DMV in Bellevue. I drove, because Kathy only had an expired driver’s license for ID. I was prepared for the worse.

    We were out by 12:30. She had her new driver’s license.

  9. 11

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    The Republican 2012 nominee for President, Willard M. Romney, will have earned what was always his predestined outcome in the GOP process; Biggest Clown in the Clown Car.

    It is not too late Republican and Republican leaning readers. Donate Now! to the suspended campaign of Herman, The Human Art Project, Cain!

    He’s so NotRomey, he’s a different color!

  10. 12

    No time for fools spews:

    Maybe getting your license renewed wouldn’t take all day and be a royal pain in the ass to have to deal with the surly individuals who work there.

    That is a stereotype. When i have been to the dmv, they have been reasonably efficient, fast and pleasant. i have had far worse service and paid through the nose for the privilege of being abused on ****** airlines, a private company.
    Here’s a game. Where have YOU had awful service at a private company?
    Jack in the box?

    Would you want the DMV run like comcast or jack in box?

  11. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    All of this is irrelevant if The Donald runs as an independent. If Trump gets even 10 votes, the GOPers will be down to their last 5 supporters.

  12. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 Last time I renewed, I spent less time waiting at DOL (not DMV) than I did in the grocery checkout line this afternoon. DOL’s customer service is no worse than anyone else’s. You’d better find yourself another talking point because this one doesn’t hunt.

  13. 16

    Steve spews:

    @7 “Do you think we could turn over the DMV to the corporations? Maybe getting your license renewed wouldn’t take all day and be a royal pain in the ass to have to deal with the surly individuals who work there.”

    I hear you, PI. Indeed, never in my life have I had an experience in the private sector that took all damned day or was a royal pain in the ass. It is damn near inconceivable that I would ever have to deal with surly individuals.

    Like the others, I’ve never had a license renewal take more than a few minutes.

    Maybe it’s time for another HA poll.

    [ ] You’ve never renewed a license
    [ ] You’ve never tried to call a corporation
    [ ] You’re sharing your delusions with us
    [ ] You’re just a liar, making shit up

  14. 17

    Michael spews:

    Comcast is the freaking devil.

    However, I will note that you can’t pay for your new license ( just got one) at the Tacoma DMV office with a Visa debit card, which is just F’ing stupid. They took every card on the planet, but Visa.

  15. 18

    Michael spews:

    I nominate the time my Wells Fargo checking account got hacked and someone made a a bunch of purchases on my account.

    Wells Fargo did not give a shit. It took me sitting in their bank branch refusing to leave for them to do anything. First they threatened to call the cops to which I offered to loan them my cell phone to make a call and wondered out loud what would the cops think about a bank letting some one steal my money and maybe I should call the cops since someone stole my money. Then they finally looked into it after me sitting there for a half an hour. my money was refunded, and I closed my account.

    Two weeks later I got a bunch of mail from Wells Fargo saying that I’d over drawn my closed account and they charged me all sorts of fees. Whomever had gotten into my account had made more purchases. I went back to the bank and it was going to be a repeat of the same thing all over again, but the manager got all pissed off and red in the face and said they’d wave everything just for me because I thought I was that special and was I happy now? I smiled and said yep!

    That was in 1999 and I’ve never done any banking with a commercial bank since and nor will I ever bank with one again.

  16. 19

    Michael spews:

    I should note that when my TV died I didn’t replace it and now live a happily Comcast free life.

  17. 20

    Liberal Scientist thinks that concentrated power and wealth should be met with suspicion, not adoration spews:

    There’s some lovely insanity going on over at Stefan’s sucky little blog ™, regarding Romney and Newt and the Republican food fight. Seems they mostly like Mittster (especially pudgey), but I had to post this, in it’s entirely:

    11. We must draft, nominate and elect Sarah Palin president in the most crushing tidal wave of enthusiastic good judgment ever seen in the history of this nation. With that one bold move we will accomplish the dual goals of seeing America led by the greatest natural born leader in our generation, even as we witness the final implosion and last agonized shrieks of our endlessly lying extreme left loonies. Their entire movement, from the fabricated attacks on Bush beginning with ‘Blood For Oil’ to the crammed-down-our-gullets lies of Obamacare and the Shovel Ready Stimulus, have been nothing but one vile deceit heaped upon another. Such an absolute inability to deal in the truth or to face the facts of our situation and its solutions only proves that there is simply no place at the grown-ups’ table for these diseased sputa. Good riddance to rubes and bad rubbish. Time to usher in the American Renaissance, carried in on the invigoratingly freshening breeze of President Sarah Palin.

    Posted by Ursula Gold at December 4, 2011 11:25 PM


  18. 21

    Zotz sez: Newt, the pudgy kid from who lead the circle jerk after campfire. spews:

    @20: That was snark, right?

  19. 22

    Zotz sez: Newt, the pudgy kid who led the circle jerk after campfire. spews:

    I plead insufficient caffeine.

  20. 24

    Blue John spews:

    Around 2001, I had rental property and a property manager and used a local small business bank. I wanted to be local assuming a local bank would be more nimble than say Seafirst. Ha!
    One month, the property manager took the rental check and deposited it in the local bank along with all the other properties she managed who banked there. The money never reached my account. I spent a day off from work, making calls up and down the bank’s hierarchy. After several hours, it was determined that the teller depositing the checks had put the check meant for my account, in the account of the person before me who also had an account with them. The bank rep could see my check had been deposited in their account. But they “couldn’t” transfer the money, that was “against” bank rules. As far as they were concerned the money had been deposited and that was all they cared about. I did find out they had to get permission from the other account holder to move funds but they wouldn’t contact that account holder, that was also against bank policy.
    I had to call the property manager and she told me who also had accounts at that bank. There were 5 people on the list besides me. I was on the third cold call, before I found a person who got online and saw they had a bunch of extra money in their account matching my payment. I had to ask them to call the bank and release my funds. Only then, would the bank credit my account.
    The account manager seemed truly surprised when I closed my account.

    And you want private sector companies like that running the DMV?

  21. 25

    ArtFart spews:

    @14 “Their last five supporters”?

    Make that four. Ann Coulter’s already wearing one of ‘em.

  22. 26

    Michael spews:


    I loved this one:

    6. Most fail to recognize the real Obama. He has a personality disorder, narcissism. He is a radical socialist ideologue. He is amoral, and shows clear signs of being a sociopath.
    Posted by Paddy at December 4, 2011 12:29 PM

  23. 30

    yd spews:

    Obama Illiminated Medicare with Obamacare. It is the largest POS I have ever taken the time to read..