Mitt Romney campaigned in Virginia over the weekend and boasted that his far-right running mate, Paul Ryan, worked with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) to craft his Medicare privatization scheme.
Referencing Ryan, Romney boasted, “This man said, ‘I’m going to find Democrats to work with.’ He found a Democrat to co-lead a piece of legislation that makes sure we can save Medicare. Republicans and Democrats coming together.”
Wyden was not pleased.
“Gov. Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not ‘co-lead a piece of legislation.’” Wyden said. “I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out, I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget.”
Ryan and Wyden did work together in December 2011 to develop a paper outlining ways to provide for Medicare solvency, including a “premium support” model. Under premium support, Medicare would allow a menu of competing plans to offer coverage with government payments. Wyden, however, never signed on to support the House-adopted budget resolution written by Ryan that included plans for a premium support approach.
“Gov. Romney needs to learn you don’t protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments today sure won’t help promote real bipartisanship,” Wyden said.
It looks like we have another McLuhan Moment.
To recap, there’s a scene in “Annie Hall” in which Woody Allen starts lecturing some loudmouth in a movie-theater line about how little he knows about Marshall McLuhan. When the guy protests, Allen brings the actual McLuhan over. “You know nothing of my work,” the scholar says.
The funny thing is, this keeps happening to Romney. He cited Jared Diamond as support for his views on international affairs. Diamond responded soon after, saying that Romney has no idea what he’s talking about. Romney cited Bill Clinton as support for his ridiculous take on welfare, and then Clinton shot back, saying the Republican is completely wrong. The Romney campaign cited several prominent economists as support for their economic plan, and then all of the economists cited said their work had been badly mischaracterized.
And now, Romney’s pointing to Ron Wyden, who came close yesterday to saying, “You know nothing of my work.”
At this point, these McLuhan Moments are making Romney look pretty foolish.