House Republican freshmen admit that their so-called “MediScare” attacks on Democrats helped them win a big majority in 2010. Democrats had voted for the health care law, which included $500 billion in “cuts” to Medicare — primarily slashing overpayments to private insurers — and Republican challengers never let them forget it.
Now, they say, it’s time to let bygones be bygones.
Nearly a dozen House Republican freshmen held a press conference outside the Capitol Tuesday morning to “wipe the slate clean,” and “hit the reset button.”
“Yeah, I mean there’s been — again, this is a both-sides issue,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) when asked if GOP candidates and the NRCC had engaged in ‘MediScare’ tactics last year. “To say that one side is blameless in trying to use issues to win votes is just dishonest.”
On Tuesday, Kinzinger and 41 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to rein in Democratic attacks on GOP members who voted for the House budget, which includes a plan to privatize Medicare and cap spending on the program.
“We ask that you stand above partisanship, condemn the disingenuous attacks and work with this Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs,” the letter reads.
To preempt the press conference, the DCCC responded to the letter with a long list of NRCC and candidate attack ads and statements from the 2010 election — all of them targeting Democrats for cutting Medicare, all on behalf of GOP candidates who are now hoping for a truce on Medicare attacks.
“Let’s get past the past. Let’s move forward to the future, and say, ‘ok, today is today, and we have a real problem,’” Kinzinger said.
It’s a pretty clear indication they’re feeling the heat from Dem attacks — and realize that, after 2010, they’re in a pretty weak position to ask for a truce. Read the letter here.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.