Republicans clearly think that NY-26 didn’t matter, and that they can spin the Ryan plan to their advantage. For example, John Boehner’s new strategy is to say that Democrats are the ones who want to cut Medicare:
“The only people in Washington, DC who have voted to cut Medicare have been the Democrats,” said Boehner, “when they voted to cut $500 billion in Medicare during Obamacare.”
Karl Rove thinks that the Ryan plan is fine, and that people just needed to see more ads:
An earlier, more aggressive explanation and defense of the Ryan plan would have turned the issue: 55% in the Crossroads survey agreed with GOP arguments for the Ryan reforms while just 36% agreed with the Democrats’ arguments against it.
Marco Rubio says that he loves Medicare so much that he has to kill it to save it, since it’s going bankrupt:
Rep. Paul Ryan has offered a plan that would make no changes whatsoever for anyone age 55 and older. I support it because, right now, it is the only plan out there that helps save Medicare. Democrats oppose it. Fine. But, if they have a better way to save Medicare, what are they waiting for to show us? What is their plan to save Medicare?
Either show us how Medicare survives without any changes or show us what changes you propose we make. Anyone who supports doing nothing is a supporter of bankrupting Medicare.
None of these strike me as especially convincing defenses of turning Medicare into $15,000 vouchers, but perhaps I’m just a partisan. But, as a partisan, I do know that when you see Republicans without a coherent message, they have a big problem.