Ron Wyden to Mitt Romney: You Know Nothing of My Work

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 13 2012 10:58 AM

Ron Wyden to Mitt Romney: You Know Nothing of My Work

Democrats always planned to run their 2012 campaigns against Paul Ryan's budget. They were apopleptic, if that's not too strong a word, at how Sen. Ron Wyden teamed up with Ryan (in March) to propose a few Medicare fixes. Not to get too hand-wringing on you, but it was the kind of spat that makes people hate Washingon -- dog-piling on a usually-independent legislator* because he hurt your messaging. Wyden responded with a lengthy and anecdote-filled op-ed, as is his wont. No, he didn't support "the Ryan plan." Bipartisan moment, over.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.

Now, part two. Mitt Romney's trying to explain and defend the Ryan Medicare plan before Democrats tear it apart. One piece of evidence for its goodness: Ron Wyden, he likes it!

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Wyden's office has been sending out a short statement rejecting the linkage.

Governor Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not "co-lead a piece of legislation." I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. Governor Romney needs to learn you don't protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments sure won't help promote real bipartisanship.

Where will it end? A cynical journo friend imagined a conversation like this.

PERSON 1: The Ryan plan seems crazy to me, and so partisan.

PERSON 2: It's not partisan. Sen. Ron Wyden supports part of it!

PERSON 1: Who's Ron Wyden?

*I'm currently in Massachusetts, home of Sen. Scott Brown, who has co-sponsored, with Wyden, a bill that would move forward health care waivers.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.