When Mitt Romney announced Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate last weekend, many political pundits predicted the selection would serve as a lightning rod in uniting Democrats against Ryan and his economic policies.
Today, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, arrived in Bedford to prove that very point.
Speaking to dozens of local Democrats and area business leaders – at a Politics and Eggs breakfast hosted by The New England Council and New Hampshire Institute of Politics at the Bedford Village Inn – Van Hollen slammed both Ryan and Romney, suggesting the GOP ticket represents the same failed economic policies of the Bush administration, ideals that will hurt the middle class and seniors, while benefiting the rich.
“I do believe the choice in the presidential election has come into much sharper focus since Gov. Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate,” said Van Hollen. “I fundamentally believe that when you examine the Ryan/Romney plan that you will discover that it is simply returning to a failed trickle-down economic strategy, a strategy that we tried during the Bush administration which crashed against the hard wall of reality.
“I can support tax reform, what I cannot support is tax reform masquerading as a Trojan horse for just another round of tax breaks for the folks at the very top, at the expense of everyone else,” added Van Hollen.
In addition to New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan, several other notable Granite State Democrats attended the breakfast, including former congressman Paul Hodes, who said Van Hollen presented a clear dichotomy between the Romney/Ryan “failed trickle-down economics” and Barack Obama’s goals to strengthen and sustain the economy and health care.
“The Romney/Ryan plan, as Congressman Van Hollen said, would basically kill Medicare, as we know it, the Ryan plan basically turns it into a voucher system,” said Hodes. “The presidents plan is very different. We save and we preserve and we strengthen Medicare … and that’s the choice we basically face.”