Herman Cain appeared Thursday on Fox & Friends, and spoke strongly in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) controversial proposal to privatize Medicare. And Cain quite proudly called the proposal a “voucher” program — a word that Republicans are trying to avoid.
Fox host Gretchen Carlson asked Cain what he thought of the fact that none of the various budgets in Congress can pass.
“Well what’s going on is, they’re not being honest with the American people,” said Cain. “The fact of the matter is, Ryan’s plan represents giving people a choice — but if you’re 55 years of age or older, you’re not gonna be affected. Nobody’s talking about that.
“Secondly, nobody’s talking about the fact that the centerpiece of Ryan’s plan is a voucher. Now, a lot of people don’t like to use that term because it has a negative connotation. That is what we need.”
The GOP talking points on the plan have carefully eschewed the word “voucher” in favor of the friendlier “premium assistance” or “premium support.” Cain, on the other hand, is apparently ignoring that particular memo.
Carlson noted that Cain is supporting Ryan’s plan, but other Republican candidates have not done so fully. For example, Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty have given it some praise, but also said they would wait to come out with their own plans, which will have many similarities but also some differences.
“I support Ryan’s plan 100 percent. We don’t need to come up with another plan,” Cain responded. “The people who are backing away from Ryan’s plan — which is very well thought out, he’s already had it scored — they simply lack courage, Gretchen. I don’t know any other way to put it. They lack courage.
“Don’t back away from something just because it’s controversial, or because it’s difficult to explain to the American people. The American people are not stupid. Explain it to them.”