Mitt Romney's campaign spokesman sought to turn one of Rep. Paul Ryan's potential vulnerabilities into an asset on Sunday, proudly vowing that a Romney-Ryan administration would raise the Social Security retirement age, cut Social Security benefits for upper income Americans and transform Medicare into a voucher system to reduce soaring entitlement costs.
Romney's selection of Ryan "was a big bold courageous choice," said Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, on CBS’s Face the Nation. "This is no time for complacency."
The Ryan budget plan may be controversial, but Romney and Ryan are betting that Americans crave action and specifics, even if the results are painful, Fehrnstrom said. "Paul Ryan has a budget," he said, while President Obama offers "no policy agenda for the second term."
But Stephanie Cutter, an adviser representing the Obama campaign, asked why Romney and Ryan want to exempt rich Americans from the pain that others will suffer.
Any fair and balanced plan to cut the costs of government must "ask the wealthy to pay a bit more" and not, like the Romney-Ryan blueprints, give big tax cuts to the rich while cutting college loan programs and other benefits and hiking taxes on the middle class, she said.
The Romney-Ryan program would be "the beginning of the end of Medicare," she said, and raise taxes by $6,000 on the average household. It is "a budget for redistributing wealth to the top."