Following John Sununu’s disastrous appearance on CNN against Soledad O’Brien on Tuesday, Mitt Romney sent his national campaign co-chair Tim Pawlenty down to the hot seat to set some facts straight about the “cuts” from Medicare.
Yeah, he, uhh… he didn’t do that. At all.
The Raw Story reports that, “During an interview on Wednesday, O’Brien told Pawlenty that one of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate’s ads falsely claimed that President Barack Obama had cut $716 billion from Medicare — but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had determined that it was actually reduction in spending, not benefits.”
It’s a really great interview to watch. Play close attention to T-Paw as he starts to fidget in his suit. He sounds stupid, and he knows he does, so why does he bother to keep talking? It’s not a cut to Medicare, as he suggests, but a savings.
Oh, wait, Soledad actually tells him that not too long after T-Paw condescendingly suggests that she can’t speak English.
O’Brien: I’m saying the way the CBO puts it – I will read – “The permanent reduction in annual updates to payment rates for most services.” That is a savings.
T-Paw: Do you know what that is in English?
O’Brien: I speak English incredibly well, sir, as you know. So, tell me what it is in English.
T-Paw: In plain speaking is this — and I just mean in compared to the mumbo jumbo in the bureaucracy in the CBO — what they’re saying is that Medicare was going to go up by X and now it’s going to go up by X minus $716 billion. There is no question that is a cut compared to where current law was before Obamacare was passed. There is no way you can present that in any other way.
O’Brien: Or you can call it a savings is actually the other way to present that.
I’d like to think that this had nothing to do with Soledad O’Brien’s diverse ethnic background (Latino, Irish, and African-American). Let’s face it, asking if a person can read/speak/understand English is something we’ve all done when arguing with someone who is being (or is) particularly dense. It’s practically a grade school tactic right up there with the ever-infuriating “I know you are, but what am I” routine.
But T-Paw doesn’t just ask Soledad in a mocking, childish tone. He is being extremely condescending, as if to suggest that Soledad is too stupid to be quoting the CBO, much less interviewing big, intelligent Republicans. Her response, though, is beautiful. She handled the condescension quite well (I would have reached through the satellite and cuffed him upside his head).
So send someone else at her, Romney. This is getting pretty good, and she seems like she’s just getting started. It’s like a pre-game to the presidential debates!
What do you think about the interview? Check it out here:
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