President Obama and his party's campaign machine have aimed their guns at Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan following the passage of his extensive budget plan in the House largely on party lines last week, and his campaign trail presence and endorsement of Republican presidential primary front-runner Mitt Romney. The president is reportedly planning to slam the Wisconsin Republican's budget proposal during his remarks at the Associated Press luncheon in Washington Tuesday.
After the measure passed in the House last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney preached the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric that "House Republicans today banded together to shower millionaires and billionaires with a massive tax cut paid for by ending Medicare as we know it, " and CNN reports that the president plans to echo his December speech in Osawatomie, Kansas; calling for "economic fairness and shared responsibility."
"But this time, the president will push back on the Ryan plan specifically, largely because the measure has been praised by the Republican presidential candidates and Ryan himself campaigned for leading candidate Mitt Romney over the weekend. Moreover, these senior White House officials say, Americans are likely to oppose the plan when they learn of the deep cuts to popular entitlement programs it calls for.
The speech is the latest effort by the president to frame the upcoming election as a defining choice over which direction the economy goes, senior administration officials also say. Obama will argue that should a future Republican president enact a budget that resembles Ryan’s plan, middle class Americans will be hit especially hard and the fragile economic recovery is likely to regress.
He will also again press for the so-called 'Buffet Rule,' a proposal that so far hasn’t gained significant traction in Congress. Under the proposal, all Americans making over $1 million would pay at least a 30 percent tax rate, regardless of whether their income constituted capital gains or not."
The Democrat-controlled Senate, which has gone over 1,000 days without a budget, is near certain to avoid approaching the House-passed Ryan plan. The Hill reports that Democrats want to turn this year's Ryan budget into an election-year liability for the GOP, and are already buying ads to attack vulnerable Republicans who voted for it.
Democrats strongly attacked Ryan's budget last year, using similar rhetoric that ”Republicans voted to end Medicare,” earning the title of "the biggest lie of the 2011" as decided by the Pulitzer Prize-winning factcheck website of the St. Petersburg Times, PolitiFact.com. After the Democrats voted against the budget, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a successful ad campaign targeted at seniors in key special election districts, featuring claims about the Ryan plan which have since been called into question. All eyes will be on Democrats to see if they follow through in applying similar tactics in 2012.