With Congressman Nunnelee on Defense Over Ryan Budget, Republicans Worried about Losing Seats Like Nunnelee’s

Now that House Republicans including Congressman Alan Nunnelee (MS-01) are forced to run with Paul Ryan’s Medicare-ending budget on the ticket, Republicans are increasingly worried it could cost House Republicans seats like Congressman Nunnelee’s this November.

From Senator McCain’s 2008 top political advisor Steve Schmidt saying Republicans are “worried” to former NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds saying the damage of Ryan’s plan to end Medicare is comparable to when Republicans lost the Majority in 2006 over President George W. Bush’s failed Social Security privatization efforts, countless Republicans are saying that the Ryan budget could cost Republicans seats this November.

“Congressman Alan Nunnelee is in trouble, on defense and in danger of being defeated this November, now that he must run with an unwelcome new running mate – the Ryan budget that ends Medicare,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Congressman Nunnelee is in jeopardy because his party voted to end Medicare and raise health care costs for seniors by $6,400 in order to give $265,000 in tax breaks for people making over $1 million. Even Republicans say that the Ryan budget, which puts millionaires over Medicare, could cost House Republicans seats and put Ryan Republicans like Congressman Nunnelee in jeopardy.”

Background

The Hill: GOP concerned Ryan could cost party House and Senate seats. “Republicans strategists are worried that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) addition to the presidential ticket will cost their party House and Senate seats this fall.” One Republican strategist who works on congressional races said: “In the House it puts a bunch of races in play that would have otherwise been safe. … It remains to be seen how much damage this causes, but my first blush is this is not good.” [The Hill, 8/13/12]

National Journal: Republicans in Tight Races on Defense over Ryan. “Even some Republicans have reacted in ways that show they too expect to be playing defense in the fall as the political debate begins to focus tightly on…details of Ryan’s plans.” [National Journal, 8/12/12]

Politico: Boehner tries to calm House GOP. “Jolted by concerns over the wave of Medicare-themed Democratic attacks sparked by Paul Ryan’s vice presidential nomination, House Speaker John Boehner held a Tuesday evening conference call aimed at soothing jittery Republican members.” [Politico, 8/15/12]

House Republicans Voted for Budgets With the Wrong Priorities for Seniors. House Republicans voted for two budgets authored by Congressman Paul Ryan. These budgets that would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit while providing people earning more than $1 million a year with an average tax cut of $265,000. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it will increase health care costs by an extra $6,359 by 2022 for future Medicare beneficiaries, while the Center for American progress has claimed that it is likely that that a middle-class family with two kids making about $70,000 a year would pay about $1,150 more in income tax. [H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/12; Tax Policy Center, Table T12-0078 and T10-0132; Citizens for Tax Justice, 3/22/12; CBO, 4/5/11; CNN, 3/23/12]