9:01 am Aug. 20, 2012
On the second Sunday since Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate, Obama surrogates answered questions about Joe Biden's remark to a mostly black crowd in Virginia that "they're going to put y'all back in chains," turning the subject back to Ryan's health care plan and, in one case, to Sarah Palin.
On "Meet the Press," Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley called it "an indelicate choice of words," but resisted the idea Biden was injecting race into the campaign.
"I'll tell you, the injection of race into this campaign has been coming from the false allegations ... on a very racially imbued issue of welfare reform," he said. "The false attacks on the president I think are far more out of line than the indelicate choice of words of the vice president."
On "This Week," Jake Tapper used a clip of Rudy Giuliani saying Biden lacks the "mental capacity" to be president to wonder if Biden had become a liability to the campaign.
"Absolutely not," said Obama's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter. "And, you know, on Mr. Giuliani's remarks, I would like to point back to his glowing introduction of Sarah Palin during the 2008 convention. So if he wants to criticize the capacity of a vice president to take hold of this country, he should go back and look at those remarks and whether he still believes that they're true."
Cutter's regular sparring partner, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden, tried to contrast the Biden comment, and the president's recent softball interviews, with the new seriousness Ryan is thought to have ushered in.
"I think, come November, we're going to be in a better position with the American electorate, because we're talking about the big issues that matter to people every single day," Madden said.
The most substantive discussion of Medicare was on "Fox News Sunday," where host Chris Wallace grilled Robert Gibbs about the alleged $716 billion in cuts in President Obama's health care plan.
Gibbs explained that the "cut" was mostly a reduction in the subsidy paid to Medicare Advantage, and he laughed off Wallace's characterization of the 15 "unelected" bureaucrats tasked with recommending changes if providers don't comply.
"If all of what you describe was so amazingly egregious, why in not one but two Paul Ryan budgets, does he never seek to roll back the so-called cost from the unelected bureaucrats that you discuss?" Gibbs asked, adding, "Do you think the AARP would have endorsed what we did if it hurts seniors?"
Gibbs didn't get a chance to talk about Ryan's plan.
More by this author:
- After an aborted Hynes endorsement, Yvette Clarke joins Hakeem Jeffries to back a challenger
- Andrew Cuomo sours on the 'theoretical' Democrats of the I.D.C.