U.S. Senate wannabe Mike Haridopolos already has the tea party on his back for not pushing through anti-illegal immigrant legislation during the just-completed session. Now he’s got new drama: in the form of vouchercare.
Didn’t he learn anything from Newt?
Haridopolos, the sitting State Senate President, has been tying himself in knots over whether he supports Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with vouchers. Since May, the Florida Democratic Party has been demanding to know where The Hair stands on vouchercare, which 235 GOP Congressmen and 40 Republican Senators, including current U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, voted for (and are now stuck with.) Things got really bad when Haridopolos refused to answer whether or not he supports Ryan’s plan on a right wing radio show, and got kicked off the program; part of the ongoing disaster that Republican political consultant Sarah Rumpf (@rumpfshaker) has dubbed the Haridopocalypse.
After that, Javier Manjarres, who publishes the right wing Shark Tank blog, tried to nail Haridopolos down … again:
In an attempt to clear the air, I posed the following question to Senator Haridopolos’ campaign and received a response from Haridopolos’ Campaign Manager, Tim Baker.
Question- If you were a sitting U.S. Senator, would you vote yes or no on the Ryan Medicare bill as it it currently written, and without any changes?
Tim Baker- Under the scenario you laid out, Sen Haridopolos would vote “No” to the Medicare provisions as currently written.
Apparently, Haridopolos is now a “NO” on the Ryan Plan as it is currently written, which doesn’t quite jibe with his press release from earlier today.
So that’s a “no,” Senator?
Um, not … exactly…? Cue the damage control:
Senate President and U.S. Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos just issued the following statement.
I absolutely support the goals of the Ryan Plan to cut federal government deficit spending and applaud Rep. Ryan’s bold leadership in putting forth an intelligent and serious plan to tackle the largest issue confronting our nation. Rep. Ryan’s leadership in actually putting forth a plan to tackle the deficit is in stark contrast to the irresponsibility demonstrated by President Obama and the Democratic Senate who have failed to pass a budget for over 750 days, adding trillions to the debt during that time. While I support almost every provision of the Ryan Plan, I believe that it must be amended to provided greater protections for Seniors.
Fighting for Seniors is not new to me. One of the main reasons I fought ObamaCare, including passing Florida’s Health Care Freedom Act, is because of the devastating cuts it dealt to Seniors, cutting $500 billion from Medicare to fund ObamaCare-Welfare programs.
Again, I absolutely support the goals of the Ryan Plan and believe in almost all of the provisions to cut federal government deficit spending and address entitlements. As a candidate for the US Senate, I am the only person in this race with a proven record of reforming entitlements [Medicaid, Government Pensions, and Welfare] and a demonstrated commitment to making cuts to balance the budget in the state of Florida without increasing taxes or fees.
Hari wrote a book about Medicare (and Social Security.) Maybe the answer is in there…
Folks: I think this is what you call a classic political meltdown.
Lots of righties are predicting Haridopolos will be fully on board with vouchercare by the end of the day.
UPDATE: the original version of this post incorrectly credited RedState.com with the term “Haridopocalypse.” Something told me they aren’t that good. Kudos to Sarah for a great, funny new catchphrase! Peep her blog here.
UPDATE 2: And it’s a “no” again! The Buzz reports that the prior, vague statement by The Hair’s camp is neither clear nor operative:
Now spokesman Tim Baker is clearing things up. Bottom line: Haridopolos would vote against the Ryan plan as currently written.
“As Senator Haridopolos made clear in his statement, the current Ryan Medicare plan should be amended to provide for greater protections for seniors,” said spokesman Tim Baker. “If the question is would he vote for the Medicare provisions as they are currently written without amendment, then the answer is No, Sen Haridopolos would not vote for the plan as currently written.”
The Adam Hasner campaign calls this “The Day Mike’s Campaign Died.”
The Buzz suggests the reason for Hairy’s flip-flopperation is the obvious: Ryancare is murder in the polls. They cite a March poll a Democratic research firm (Lake Research Partners) that found three-quarters of respondents oppose cutting Social Security, benefits (which is also part of the Ryan plan, via privatization) and majorities of critical independents and Republicans would not vote for someone who proposed cutting benefits. It’s an old poll, but the new numbers on vouchercare don’t look any better.
UPDATE 3: Meanwhile, just save it, LeMieux.