Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) seems to be a bit tongue-tied these days.
A couple of weeks ago, the Landrieu re-election team released an ad attacking Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). In the ad, Landrieu portrayed Cassidy as a vicious doctor that voted to slash senior citizen programs, Medicare and Social Security.
As the Hayride previously reported, the claim that Cassidy voted to “raise Medicare costs by $6,000″ came from this Democratic report by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), which criticized the Paul Ryan budget, and has actually been discredited/debunked by Politifact and the Washington Post.
This is another talking point long past its due date. The $6,000 claim is based on a 2011 analysis by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, using data from the Congressional Budget Office, regarding Ryan’s original plan. The report said that in 2022, when the premium support system was expected to go into effect, a beneficiary’s out-of-pocket expenses would double, from $6,000 to $12,000.
But when Ryan’s plan changed, so did the numbers, in part because Ryan allowed Medicare spending to grow slightly faster than the nation’s economy (+0.5 percent), the same growth rate as President Obama’s budget.
Fast forward to today: Landrieu’s attack on Cassidy has changed.
In the Times-Picayune today, Landrieu’s campaign spokesman admitted that Landrieu voted for “the same” $700 billion in cuts to Medicare in order to pay for Obamacare.
“As it seems with almost every issue, Mary Landrieu is trying to distract and have it both ways,” said John Cummins, a spokesman for Cassidy. “She can’t falsely attack Dr. Cassidy for ‘hurting seniors’ and stand by her vote for Obamacare, which her campaign now claims was exactly the same policy.”
Cummins said there are two options that Landrieu has to choose from.
Option #1: Either Landrieu is admitting to lying in her attack ad and actually agrees with Cassidy that what he did would strengthen and preserve Medicare and Social Security. Side note: Landrieu has endorsed the fiscal commission’s report that recommended measures to strengthen or preserve Social Security.
Option #2: Or, Senator Landrieu agrees with her own rhetoric and believes that Cassidy’s votes were an assault on Medicare, but given today’s campaign statement she admits guilt under her own misleading, partisan definition of terrible cuts to seniors.
So which is it?