Romney adviser Ed Gillespie just told me in a telephone interview that the campaign would rather have the Medicare fight now than have it play out in the fall, closer to Election Day. “There was always going to be a Medicare debate,” he said. “They are Democrats and we are Republicans. They prefer to [go after Republicans on Medicare] in the mail and on the phones in October…. This is a great debate.”
Other advisers in Boston say they have a lot more in-the-can opposition research on the President and Medicare that they are ready to use, especially with linkage to the Affordable Care Act. They say they were more than ready to take this on when Ryan was picked, disputing the notion, put forward by me and others on “Morning Joe” and elsewhere, that they have been caught flat footed.
The Romney campaign has a lot of confidence in Paul Ryan as a spokesman on these issues, and they say he is very strong in defending their stance — and going on offense against the President — in his interview with Brit Hume airing on Fox Tuesday night.