Gillespie: Obama Running ‘Fear and Smear’ Campaign

Sunday, 19 Aug 2012 12:01 PM

By Amy Woods

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The senior adviser to Mitt Romney rejected the contention by Democrats that costs for seniors on Medicare will escalate under the plan proposed by vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” told Ed Gillespie the Congressional Budget Office estimated Medicare costs could increase by $6,400.

Gillespie said that figure is “an assumption.”

“We reject that in our analysis, Chris, and don’t believe that that is accurate,” he said. “We’re going to have a debate about all of these issues, and we think a more fulsome debate about the future of Medicare and the Romney-Ryan approach is good for us.”

On the issue of Romney’s income-tax returns, Gillespie said the Republican nominee will release a second full year of documents prior to the election, which is consistent with what Republican nominee John McCain did in 2008.

“It wasn’t an issue in 2008 because President Obama wasn’t trying to distract from a four-year-long record of failed policies,” Gillespie said.

President Barack Obama’s comment in New Hampshire that Romney would pay less than 1 percent in taxes under vice-residential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget plan is moot because the plan on the table is the one proposed by Romney, Gillespie said. He said Obama’s comment is “just trying to distract from the reality of the real debate.”

He went on to juxtapose what Romney and Ryan did last week — Romney was in Ohio talking about domestic energy, and Ryan was in Florida talking about Medicare — to what Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were doing — Obama called in to a comical morning-radio show in Albuquerque, N.M., and Biden made another gaffe in Virginia when he talked about putting voters “back in chains.”

“We want a serious campaign,” Gillespie said. “We will win that debate.”

He said the addition of Ryan to the ticket “has helped reinforce what Mitt Romney wanted, which is a big debate about big issues.”

“The Obama-Biden campaign is going to continue to try to make this about little things and distractions,” Gillespie said. “I think it’s a shame that the campaign of hope and change has denigrated to one of fear and smear, but I think the American people want to have the bigger debate.”

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