Democratic Congressional Candidates Feast on Paul Ryan


Congressman Paul Ryan isn’t entirely new to New York’s political scene. Congresswoman Kathy Hochul won a ruby red Western New York district in a special election based on blasting Mr. Ryan’s budget and her GOP opponent’s support for it last year. Now, with Mr. Ryan named as Mitt Romney’s number two man as he faces off against President Obama, Democrats around the state are ready to fully embrace him as well, and their press releases have been pouring in.

Campaigning for a Staten Island-based district, Democrat Mark Murphy said the following about his Republican opponent, Congressman Michael Grimm:

“This shows that more than anything, Congressman Grimm and the national Republican Party are committed to the extreme policies of ending Medicare as we know it,  privatizing Social Security, cutting public education, and giving massive tax breaks to executives making over a million dollars a year. At a time when we need real solutions, Grimm and his cohorts are locking into radical Tea Party positions that put the health and economic security of America’s seniors and middle class at risk. The Romney-Ryan-Grimm team are three strikes against America’s middle class families, and yet another reason why Grimm is unfit to serve as our Congressman.”

From Ms. Hochul herself as she competes in an even more conservative district against Republican Chris Collins:

“Americans deserve new ideas for how we can reduce the debt and protect our seniors and the middle class.  Just one year ago, Western New York voters rejected the Ryan-Collins policies that would end Medicare as we know it and hurt middle class families while giving more tax cuts to the rich. Our country needs to move forward, not re-hash failed ideas.  Given Chris Collins’ ongoing support for tax cuts for the rich that add nearly $1 trillion to the deficit and his willingness to send his business to China to line his pockets, it is clear my opponent is going to continue to pursue policies and priorities that have already been rejected.”

In Syracuse, from Democrat Dan Maffei running against incumbent Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle:

“Last week Congresswoman Buerkle said, ‘We have two competing visions for this nation.’ With Mitt Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential candidate that could not be more clear,” said Maffei. “In my vision for America the middle class is strong, in the Ryan-Buerkle vision they pay higher taxes and don’t have Medicare as we know it, and women don’t have the right to life saving health care.”

In the Hudson Valley, Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney is running against Rep. Nan Hayworth and sent out a statement entitled, “RELEASE: Romney/Ryan/Hayworth Plan: End Medicare to pay for even more tax cuts for themselves”:

Congresswoman Hayworth described the plan as “courageous”, and voted repeatedly for Paul Ryan’s devastating budget. Hayworth, who has complained about Medicare’s reimbursement rate for doctors like herself, went so far as to call the provisions to end Medicare “compassionate”.

In May, 2011, Congresswoman Hayworth even attacked Romney’s then-opponent Newt Gingrich, calling his criticisms of Congressman Ryan’s budget “unwise”.

“Romney, Ryan, and Hayworth are trying to end Medicare and pass the costs on to seniors — all to pay for huge new tax giveaways for millionaires like themselves,” said Democratic Candidate Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18). “Now that Paul Ryan has been added to the ticket, Nan Hayworth’s Tea Party ideology has officially taken over the Republican Party.”

For his part, North Country Democratic Congressman Bill Owens, in one of the most competitive races in the state, wondered if his opponent supports Mr. Ryan’s  budget:

“The Ryan plan guts Medicare, plain and simple. It means higher prescription drug costs for seniors, higher retirement ages, and a reopened prescription drug donut hole,” said James Hannaway, Owens Campaign Manager.  “With Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential nominee, Doheny is going to have to answer the question- does he stand with the Paul Ryan, or does he want to gut Medicare even more?”

And in the Albany area, GOP Rep. Chris Gibson’s opponent Julian Schreibman sent out this statement:

“Mitt Romney’s selection of Tea Party favorite Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate is proof that the Tea Party agenda has taken hold in Washington. Congressman Chris Gibson’s embrace of that agenda – including supporting Ryan’s budget plan to end Medicare as we know it and turn it into an under-funded coupon program while pushing for massive tax breaks for the super wealthy – has been a key part of Congress’ failure to address the concerns of working men and women in places like upstate New York. Romney’s VP choice clearly signals that gambling with the health care of our seniors while forcing middle class tax payers to bear an even greater burden would be a priority for Congressman Gibson and his Republican allies in Congress next year.

“We must send Congressman Gibson, Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan a clear message that we will not play politics with the future of Medicare. If elected, I will fight against the extreme Tea Party agenda, and defend our seniors’ access to quality care.”

While in Rochester, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter sent out a fundraising appeal to her supporters based on Mr. Romney’s pick:

Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan shows just how committed Republicans are about gutting Medicare all so they can give millionaires yet another tax break. I have said it once and I say it again, my Republican opponent has shown whose side she will stand on when it comes to choosing millionaires over the middle class.

Even worse, Maggie Brooks has already said she thinks Ryan’s plan to gut Medicare actually doesn’t go far enough, which has fueled her campaign with tens of thousands of dollars. I want to fuel my campaign with people who want to protect Medicare and people who agree members of Congress should be fighting for the middle class not millionaires. Let’s deliver a powerful message about Romney and Ryan’s plan to try to gut Medicare.

All eyes will be on Democrat’s fundraising totals – please contribute whatever you can to make sure we deliver a powerful message to Romney and Ryan and their chosen candidate Maggie Brooks that we won’t stand for it.

There is too much at stake not to get involved.

And on the end of Long Island, Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop did the same:

With Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, the choice could not be any clearer, and the stakes could not be any higher. Congressman Ryan is the architect of the Republicans’ radical plan to end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program in order to reduce taxes on the wealthiest Americans by an average of $260,000. That same plan would put a greater tax burden on middle-class families, which would see an average tax increase of $2,700. This is a vital moment to inform Suffolk County families about the Ryan-Altschuler plan to put millionaire tax cuts over Medicare for seniors and middle-class families. Contribute $10, $25, or $50 today.

While I have consistently opposed the Ryan Budget, millionaire outsourcer Randy Altschuler has embraced this plan. He has said that he “loves Paul Ryan” and agrees with him that “we can’t afford Medicare.”

I have long said that a budget is a country’s values represented by numbers. If you agree that Paul Ryan’s Randy Altschuler-approved budget doesn’t represent the values of Suffolk County then this is THE critical moment to step forward and make your voice heard. Contribute $10, $25, or $50 today.

As you may have heard, Randy Altschuler has spent the past several weeks attacking my family. Today, his motivation for doing so couldn’t be any clearer. He understands that if this election is about his vision for tax cuts for millionaires at the expense of seniors and working families, then he doesn’t have a chance. With your support, we will have the resources to talk to Suffolk County voters about the issues and the importance of the choice before them. I know you care about Suffolk County and our nation, this is the critical moment to join me and fight for Suffolk County’s values.

Vying for a district straddling Central and Western New York, Dan Lamb blasted out the following about his opponent, Congressman Richard Hanna:

“Congressman Paul Ryan is the architect of the plan that would eliminate the guaranteed benefit of Medicare to pay for tax cuts for millionaires. This is not the vision New Yorkers across the Southern Tier and Central New York have for America, but it is the plan that Congressman Richard Hanna enthusiastically voted for. He called it ‘a responsible and optimistic budget that our great nation deserves.’

“Hanna’s plan would cost seniors over $6,000 every year while cutting taxes for the average millionaire by $187,100. The plan slashes our investments in clean energy technology, while maintaining massive subsidies for the oil and gas industry. It cuts Pell Grants for 1 million students, and would cause the loss of over 4 million jobs.

“Hanna’s support for Paul Ryan’s radical proposals shows a stunning disregard for seniors and the Middle Class. It should give every voter pause. Richard Hanna and Paul Ryan’s vision for America is out of touch with the needs of the middle class voters I’m fighting to represent.”

Finally, in the Southern Tier, Democratic congressional hopeful Nate Shinagawa critiqued GOP Rep. Tom Reed’s support of Mr. Ryan’s budget:

“My opponent Congressman Tom Reed has voted twice now for the Ryan Budget – a radical set of proposals to give away Medicare to private insurance companies, cut infrastructure spending, slash Medicaid and, to make it even more against the middle class, give another massive tax cut to millionaires. It now looks like Congressman Ryan, Tom Reed’s friend, will be Mitt Romney’s VP pick. If you care about building up the middle class again in this country, it’s clear that Romney/Ryan/Reed are not the choice.”

Update: Democratic congressional nominee Hakeem Jeffries, all-but-certain to win his election in a heavily Democratic Brooklyn district in November, adds on his disapproval as well:

“Mitt Romney has chosen a running mate who is the architect of plan that gives tax cuts to the super-rich and slashes services for working families. Paul Ryan supports decimating education funding, dismantling Medicare and burdening the unemployed. Given the chance, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will weaken our nation’s economy instead of helping to move it forward. This decision further confirms that New Yorkers and the country should re-elect Barack Obama as our president.”

Update 2x: Assemblywoman Grace Meng, the Democratic nominee in a Democratic-leaning congressional district in northeastern Queens, sends in her own statement:

“The Republican Party has officially derailed and fallen completely out of touch with middle class families, senior citizens and the everyday struggles facing Queens’ voters. Radical, Tea Party Republicans like Dan Halloran believe that the Ryan Budget, which includes privatizing Social Security and ending Medicare as we know it, would be a “marvelous” solution to our nation’s budgetary woes. Instead of ensuring that the wealthiest one percent of Americans pay their fair share, the Halloran/Romney/Ryan plan seeks to balance the federal budget on the backs of middle class families and senior citizens.”

And there you go. Democratic Congressional Candidates Feast on Paul Ryan