The Romney-Ryan ticket holds a small lead in Florida, according to two new polls. Hoping to shore up the Sunshine State, the Romney campaign is deploying Ryan to speak at a large retirement community, alongside his octogenerian mother:
How serious is the Romney campaign about seizing the offense in the Medicare battle? The campaign is dispatching Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, to a Florida retirement community this weekend. Ryan will headline a campaign event at 10 a.m. Saturday in The Villages, the sprawling retirement community frequented by GOP candidates, including by Romney during this year’s primary battle ... Ryan will be joined at the event by his mother, Betty Douglas, 80.
As I suggested this week, showcasing Ryan's mom is one of the most potent tools Republicans have to beat back Democrat disinformation on the GOP reform plan to save Medicare. If they can effectively neutralize the Left's ongoing demagoguery, they'll have more breathing room to land blows on offense. To that end, sending Ryan and his mother onto the campaign trail together is a brilliant stroke. I hope the commercials aren't far behind, to reach a larger audience. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney outlined the differences between his plan and the president's Medicare proposals earlier today, using a four-quadrant white board to illustrate his point. MSNBC lampooned Romney for this performance, but I think it's just classic, nerdy, consultant Mitt doing his thing:
For their part, seniors certainly do seem positively terrified by Paul Ryan. John McCormack reports from the trail:
"Hey Paul!" yelled an elderly woman while Ryan was placing his order with the cashier. "Good luck! Kick ass!" The well-wisher, Erma from Howland, Ohio, told me later that she's not worried that Ryan and Romney would end Medicare. "I don't believe it," she said. "Because Obama has a bigger plan to rob Medicare of $617 billion." "We better worry about Obamacare before we worry about Ryan," added Erma, a self-described conservative from Howell, Ohio. Erma wasn't the only conservative senior citizen at the Original Hot Dog Shoppe to demonstrate that the party faithful have absorbed the Medicare message being pushed by the Romney-Ryan campaign this week. "Oh, don't believe none of that stuff," Eleanor Costantino, a senior citizen from Warren, told me when I asked her if she was worried about Romney-Ryan taking away Obamacare. "It's all nothing but a bunch of lies!" "He's going to save Medicare," chimed in Eleanor's friend Karen Combs from Cortland, Ohio. "There's $700 billion under Obamacare coming out of Medicare, and seniors should be more frightened over that."
The Medicare debate may be backfiring on The One, but this election will still come down to jobs, the economy, and debt. Gallup's latest survey shows Obama in big trouble on all three issues, with his disapproval creeping into the the high 50's and 60's on each: