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. 

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!


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. 



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge


The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 6:23 PM Bryan Cranston Reenacts Baseball’s Best Moments to Promote the Upcoming Postseason
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.