Who could have foreseen?

Oh, wait- EVERYBODY!

Obama’s budget puts House Democrats in bind

By: Alex Isenstadt, Politico

April 30, 2013 05:00 AM EDT

How large a role Medicare and Social Security play in the 2014 debate remains to be seen – Democrats intend to highlight issues like immigration and gun control, with an eye toward driving minority and younger voters to the polls. But they also want to use entitlements as part of a broader message branding Republicans as overly ideological and uncaring about the middle class.

Driving home that theme, some Democrats say, will be tricky after the president’s controversial endorsment of chained CPI, a stingier way of calculating growth in Social Security benefits, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts.

“It is highly problematic,” said one Democratic pollster and veteran of congressional races, who requested anonymity because he didn’t want to be seen as picking a fight with the White House. “There is no question the entitlement debate makes for an easy campaign ad.”

In an interview with CNN after Obama unveiled his budget earlier this month, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon called the plan “a shocking attack on seniors.”

“I’ll tell you when you’re going after seniors the way he’s already done on Obamacare, taken $700 billion out of Medicare to put into Obamacare and now coming back at seniors again, I think you’re crossing that line very quickly here in terms of denying access to seniors for health care in districts like mine certainly and around the country,” he said.

Walden’s remarks drew criticism from some in the GOP, which has come out in favor of chained CPI as a way of reducing the deficit. But the NRCC chairman’s point was made: Republicans had been given a free opportunity to hit back on entitlements, long a Democratic trump card.

Brock McCleary, a GOP pollster and former NRCC deputy political director, said Republicans couldn’t expect to gain an advantage on who’s most likely to defend programs but could try to fight the issue to a draw.

“The president has very clearly shown the way for how Republicans can keep voters in the lurch about which party is going to protect entitlements,” he said.

Electoral victory my ass.


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