I've written a lot about Republican pundit and ad man Alex Castellanos, who is usually on CNN and can be very offensive offensive, as we know. He was on MTP this morning and accurately called Paul Ryan and the Republicans' plan to destroy all of the nation's safety-net programs "cold, cruel and Irresponsible" as he analyzes public perceptions over this debate.
Gregory: Alex Castellanos, is it a smart thing for Republicans to be taking on this fight over Medicare? A lot of Republicans have gone home to their districts and are fielding tough questions, basically saying, "You want to do what? You want to change Medicare as we know it?" Here's an ad that's running, a political ad, Americans United for Change, that takes on Congressman Ryan's plan about Medicare.
(Videotape of political ad)
Unidentified Elderly Woman: (Voiceover) Paul Ryan looks like a nice young man, but on April 15, he voted to end Medicare and its guaranteed health benefits. Ryan wants to use that money to give millionaires a $200,000 tax break. Ending Medicare so millionaires can get another tax break? Really? Call Congressman Ryan and ask, "What were you thinking!"
MR. GREGORY: What are they thinking, politically?
MR. ALEX CASTELLANOS: One thing we've learned in Washington over these years is just because one side loses, doesn't mean the other side wins. I think we're in one of these situations where everyone loses politically in this debate. Certainly Republicans are being hurt. Campaign 2012 has started. I mean, we've seen the evidence. But, you know, Democrats also lose, too. Look, this is what everybody has to do: Step up to the plate and put something on the table about getting a hold of the deficit and the debt. There--both sides are going to pay a political price. Republicans are cold and cruel and irresponsible.
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
MR. CASTELLANOS: But Democrats are also irresponsible on the debt, on not cutting anything. It's going to hurt both sides.
Castellanos tries to make up for his harsh indictment of his Republican allies by saying Democrats will suffer as well because of their stance on the national debt, but he's got another think coming in that regard; polls consistently show that people care about jobs, not the deficit. It's a typical tactic of false equivalencies and Castellanos, is very good at playing that game, but you're hearing an awful lot of angst coming from the Republican base at town halls over Ryan's plan. Not a good sign.
The lawmakers, back in their districts during the Congress recess, are confronted with tough questions from constituents about the GOP proposal that would turn Medicare into a voucher system and reduce taxes for the wealthy...read on