Ever since Rep. Paul Ryan introduced his plan to kill Medicare as we know it, there’s been a growing chorus of people speaking out against it. Last week, that chorus added an unlikely member: The leader of the South Florida Tea Party, Everett Wilkinson.
Wilkinson put out an email to his supporters articulating the group’s position on the Ryan plan and how it relates to their overall 2012 strategy. The first reporter to take notice was George Bennett of The Palm Beach Post. The note is up on the South Florida Tea Party’s website if you you’d like to read it in full.
Today, I talked to both Bennett and Wilkinson about this story to learn a bit more. Wilkinson is in the district currently held by Tea Party favorite, Rep. Allen West. Wilkinson says he thinks Rep. West could see some fallout over his support of Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.
Wilkinson also calls his opposition to Ryan’s plan both “political and policy-based.” He continued, “It’s a politically unfavorable position. I’ve sat down with people on both sides of this thing. I’m all for budget cuts, but this is very pointless.” On the policy side of the argument, he says Ryan’s plan would create a “system of coupons that’s vague and distorted and no one understands if it’s going to work or not.”
As for those people on both sides of the issue that Everett Wilkinson talked to, he tells me me that included FOX Newser Dick Morris, Republican political consultant Roger Stone, people at The Heritage Foundation, NBC reality TV star Donald Trump (he refers to this as a conversation in passing), and “other lesser known respected policy experts.” Trump, you may remember, is (interestingly enough) one of the people calling Ryan’s plan political poison for Republicans in 2012.
As Ryan’s proposal gets more and more radioactive (only 22% supported it in the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll), it’s going to be interesting to see how Republicans who’ve thrown their support behind it square that circle.