Mitchell Reports | August 14, 2012
>>> we're here in the chicago area , where the obama campaign is headquartered. they are ramping up their criticism of paul ryan . here is deputy campaign advisor stephanie cutter with me just earlier this hour, discussing medicare plans.
>> it's not taking money out of the system. it's where you're going to find savings and the only place that paul ryan finds savings is by increasing costs on seniors. that's not a way to strengthen medicare to ensure seniors get the care they need.
>> joining me now is former new hampshire governor john sununu , a surrogate for the romney campaign and of course, the former chief of staff to president george herbert walker bush . thanks for being with us.
>> nice to be with you again.
>> always good to see you. like to give you a chance to respond to stephanie cutter .
>> look, can you imagine how much gall it takes for the democrats, stephanie cutter and barack obama , who have made lifetime careers out of demagoguing the medicare issue, who cut that medicare ad on paul ryan , to now express concern that the republicans are pointing out that the only person that ever put into place a law that cut money out of medicare and hurt seniors is barack obama , with his $700 billion plus cut in medicare . it's unbelievable. the hypocrisy, the double language, if you will, and frankly, the dishonesty. this is the same stephanie cutter that acknowledged a few days ago that there was this $700 billion plus cut and she was saying it was quite an achievement.
>> let me break down a couple of points here. i know we will then engage but let me ask the question. that $700 billion is the same amount of money approximately that's in the ryan budget plan. those are the same cuts. what the difference is as cutter was just pointing out is that the president's health care plan takes it away from providers largely, not from beneficiaries, and it in fact is not a quote cut in traditional republican terms, because it is simply slowing the rate of growth, the rate of increase, in medicare spending. now, have at it.
>> look, it takes away from providers in a way that they will provide less services. that means it takes it away from the seniors. secondly, it takes it away from subsidizing medicare advantage which means it takes it away from the seniors. what she told you is just not true. the second point is much more important. these folks are out there now trying to take a plan that has substance to it and certainly running ads now condemning the very same things that they applaud in their own plan. it's insane.
>> governor romney was trying to say that there was not much difference between his plans and paul ryan 's plans. is paul ryan , having been this specific, you know, this is his reputation, he did vote for increases in spending, he voted for the unfunded prescription drug benefit, he voted for t.a.r.p., he voted for the auto bailout but in terms of this year's budgets, he's been very specific. he's the budget chairman. isn't that a virtue that mitt romney should be embracing?
>> well, there are virtues to specificity but remember, mitt romney 's at the top of the ticket. ryan is the vice president. mitt romney likes paul ryan 's plan. it's a good plan. mitt romney thinks his plan is better, and there certainly are differences that are real. the democrats are going to try and pretend there are no differences but there are some and the governor and paul ryan will define those clearly over the next couple of days. i just think it's amazing, the democrats think they're going to get a pass on everything. biden comes out with this outrageous comment and i guess we're supposed to ignore it. that's ridiculous.
>> let me ask you about that comment by the vice president. i asked stephanie cutter about it. she said in context, the president agrees with his sentiments. whether or not she agrees or the president agrees with his specific words. what is your objection, let me just give you a chance to say so, on what the vice president said about putting you back in chains?
>> well, there's going to be folks across the country that will try and take that as some kind of code word that is going to suggest that the republicans are trying to be racial in their programs. that's ridiculous.
>> what again do you think the paul ryan choice brings to this ticket?
>> look, it brings a smart man. it brings a man with backbone and courage and guts. it creates a team of two guys that are not afraid of making the hard decisions and are smart enough to determine what the hard decisions are. we have had an administration that on the hard issues has done nothing. we have the worst recovery in 75 years. we have 25 million americans out of work, 8.3% unemployment. those are the issues that we ought to be talking about. you met with mayor bloomberg . he says nobody's talking about the economy. he hasn't been listening to mitt romney .
>> oh, he has been. he has been, but --
>> then he hasn't heard anything. because he's been talking about --
>> with all respect, he's saying that mitt romney and barack obama are not addressing immigration reform which could be the single biggest driver of job creation if they could deal with it and deal with the visa problems that we have to getting both low wage and highly educated immigrants --
>> and legal immigration is the life blood of this country but it is not going to solve the current 8.3% unemployment problem mitt romney 's been talking about that. it's not going to address the lack of incentives for investment in this country. mitt romney 's been talking about that. it is not going to deal with the fact that small businesses are being accused of not building their own business. mitt romney 's been talking about that. those issues are just as important or more important than what mayor bloomberg 's favorite issue of the day is.
>> what mayor bloomberg is saying, this is not just a favorite issue of the day because he has been on this for years, speaking out about it, he called it national suicide a year ago june. what he is saying is the way to get small businesses started is to let more immigrants in because immigrants are now creating more businesses, small and large, than native born americans .
>> nobody objects to legal immigration. everyone supports it. and if he doesn't understand that, he's got a problem. everyone supports legal immigration. both obama and mitt romney to their credit support legal immigration.
>> governor sununu, to be continued. thanks for joining us again today.
>> thank you.