National political pundits think Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) will try to run as far away from the national Republican Presidential ticket of Gov. Mitt Romney and the newly minted vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), as he can.
Despite those predictions, Dold is neither shying away from his own record or Ryan’s ideas. The North Shore Congressman, who is defending his seat against , thinks the presence of Ryan on the ticket will center the campaign on issues he considers most important.
“What the Ryan nomination will do is focus the campaign on fiscal issues we need to discuss,” Dold said. “It’s about jobs and the economy. It’s very important.” Dold has twice voted for the House Republican budget authored by Ryan.
Schneider jumped on Dold’s two votes for Ryan’s budget plan, particularly the parts that the Democrat claims will fundamentally change Medicare for people under 55. The legislation does not change Medicare for those over 55.
“Congressman Dold let us know exactly what his priorities are—protecting tax breaks for the wealthy by dramatically slashing funding for Medicare,” Schneider said. “Congressman Dold would rather force seniors to pay thousands more out of pocket for their health care than ask the top earners to pay the same rates that they did in the 90s, when we last balanced the budget.”
DCCC Makes Calls Into District Criticizing Dold
While Schneider was leveling his criticism at Dold, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is preparing a series of robo calls into the 10th District and 49 others across the country attacking Republican votes for the budget and claiming it ends Medicare as it is today.
“That’s patently false,” Dold said. He reiterated there is no change for those over 55. “People under 55 will have a choice or traditional Medicare or preferred (choice) as members of Congress have.”
According to Dold, the portions of the budget pertaining to Medicare were bipartisan being authored by Ryan and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Schneider does not deny the content of Wyden’s proposal but disputes Dold’s claims that the plan has the support of both parties.
“The only thing bipartisan about the Ryan Budget is its opposition," Schneider said referring to the fact this year’s version was opposed by every Democrat and 10 Republicans while remaining members of the majority voted for it.
Though Wyden wrote a paper suggesting changes to Medicare Ryan later adopted for his budget, the Oregon Senator does not think it preserves the Medicare guarantee.
“My view is that the policies that were adopted by the Republican House majority and the Romney campaign do not preserve the Medicare guarantee," Wyden said Tuesday in a Washington Post article.
Local Leaders Like Ryan on Ticket
The Ryan nomination has galvanized local leaders of both parties. They all think it will have a positive effect on the outcome of the contest for the 10th District seat. State Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) thinks Ryan’s entry into the race will force the candidates to inform the voters on the issues.
“Ryan’s presence on the ticket will insure Republicans and Democrats will be forced to articulate on issues allowing voters to make an informed choice,” Garrett said.
Both Moraine Township Republican Chairman Lou Atsaves and New Trier Township Republican Committeeman Bill Cadigan think Ryan’s presence on the ticket will tilt the race toward the incumbent.
“It will be good for Bob Dold and all other Republicans in the area. Every GOP activist will turn into a supporter,” Cadigan said. “It’s very clear independents will bring scrutiny to the federal budget process.”
Tenth Congressional District Democrats and Moraine Township Democratic Chair Lauren Beth Gash is focused on the Social Security and Medicare issues. “I couldn’t be more pleased,” she said. “Under Social Security and Medicare people will see the true difference between Republicans and Democrats.”
Like Cadigan, Atsaves likes the intellectual approach Ryan will bring to the campaign both at the national and 10th District level. “Ryan is an idea guy,” Atsaves said. “They (the Democrats) don’t have a plan.”