Attending Heritage’s bloggers briefing today, I got to hear Rep. Dave Camp, who is running for ranking member of the Ways & Means Committee and Rep. Paul Ryan, ranking member of the Budget Committee. The former discussed healthcare (surprising for a Republican), and the latter discussed the budget.
Rep. Camp recited a good number of the talking points I’ve heard among the right regarding healthcare. The problem is that the debate is about a feel-good issue (the health of a family), and Republicans tend to highlight the negatives of the other side rather than emphasize positive points. Healthcare beat reporters want to hear the story of how you’re going to help that little baby with medical needs, or the old lady who’s putting aside surgery because she has to pay her electric bill.
Unfortunately, Rep. Camp stuck with the point that the “45 million Americans who are uninsured” is really an overblown statistic. It’s worth mentioning, to be sure, but numbers won’t change this debate (otherwise, no one would be talking about socialized medicine anyway).
Instead, explaining how a Republican plan would enable people to not be tied to jobs they don’t like just because they want health insurance is a good way to go — something Rep. Camp brought up later in the discussion. You can also tie in the fact that a Democratic plan would hurt the economy, thus forcing people to stay in the very jobs they want to move away from.
Rep. Ryan on the budget was a little more reassuring — noting that the Democrats are about to jump for the largest tax hike in American history. This is a reminder to the McCain campaign that talking foreign policy is important, but talking about how tax hikes hurt our already ailing economy will likely be just as important. Doing what Obama isn’t doing — getting specific — is something that McCain ought to do while Obama is still stuck running to the left of Hillary. This way, he can face scrutiny from two candidates, not just one.
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That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
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