I'm not sure if "Republican strategist" or probably better described, U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbyist, John Feehery meant to actually say this out loud on television, but I think he accidentally told the truth on Hardball. While defending Paul Ryan and the Republican's plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program as a means of "saving" Medicare, at the very end of the segment Feehery lets one slip with their real priorities. Medicare and our social safety nets must be sacrificed if we want to keep a Department of Defense.
So we've got to keep pouring billions into these bottomless pits where we invaded countries that were not a threat to us and our so-called "war on terror", or we gut Medicare. Those are the choices. No raising taxes to pay for invading other countries. No cuts to our military industrial complex. Take it out of the hide of the poor and our seniors instead. We knew these were their priorities already. It's just unusual to hear one of them actually say it out loud.
And as Digby noted on the rest of Feehery's spin here:
This is some great GOP messaging from strategist John Feehery today on Hardball:
Feehery: This is the same program that was put out by John Breaux and Bill Thomas back in the 1990s. We have to fix Medicare for the long term. Obviously competition has to be involved with it. Obviously what Paul Ryan has said is, "if you're under 55 this is something you might have to deal with, if you're over 55 it's not gonna touch you." That's something that polls very well with seniors. This is a beginning of a conversation. This is a beginning of a conversation and it has to happen.
Matthews; You sound desperate. You're skirting and saying it doesn't matter if you're over 55.
Feehery: That's what the plan says, if you're over 55 it's not going to impact you. And that's an important talking point. All the members of congress that I've talked to when they go back to their constituents over 55 that sells. Now I don't happen to think that's fair. I'm under 55 and if there's going to be reform I think the old guys have to pay as well, but I'm not running for office so ...