You are herePolitico: Ryan blames NY-26 on Dem 'scare tactics'

Politico: Ryan blames NY-26 on Dem 'scare tactics'


-By Jennifer Epstein

May 25, 2011- Tuesday’s special election win by Democrat Kathy Hochul was the result of Democratic scare tactics, and not actually a referendum on the reality of his Medicare plan, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said in his first comments after the polls closed in Western New York.

“I saw the ads,” Ryan said. “I saw burning people’s Medicare cards. If you can scare seniors into thinking that their current benefits are being affected, that’s going to have an effect. And that is exactly what took place here. So yes, yes, it’s demagoguery, it’s scaring seniors.”

Ryan also chalked up Hochul’s win to the candidacy of Jack Davis, a self-funded candidate who drew more votes than the margin of victory.

“When a Democrat runs as a third party, tea party candidate and spends a couple million dollars, it’s going to have an effect,” Ryan said Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Hochul won a heavily Republican district that was represented by Jack Kemp, Bill Paxon and Tom Reynolds before Chris Lee, who resigned last year after a shirtless photo he posted in a personal ad on Craigslist surfaced.

Earlier this month, Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that that Ryan’s plan for Medicare amounted to “right-wing social engineering,” though he quickly retracted that comment and said it wasn’t directed at Ryan.

Meanwhile, a handful of Senate Republicans, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine, have said this week that they won’t vote for the Ryan plan when it hits the Senate floor. But that’s not a problem on the House side, according to Ryan.

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