Fox News' defense of Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare plan has incorporated language taken straight out of a GOP memo to Republican congressional candidates, proving once more that they are in business to act as the communications arm of the Republican Party.
Last Monday Politico reported that the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released a memo hours after Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney's vice presidential candidate mandating specific language that GOP congressional candidates should use when defending Ryan's budget and spinning Medicare attacks in their favor. From Politico:
"Do not say: 'entitlement reform,' 'privatization,' 'every option is on the table,'" the National Republican Congressional Committee said in an email memo. "Do say: 'strengthen,' 'secure,' 'save,' 'preserve, 'protect.'"
Although the instructions were addressed to GOP politicians, Fox got the memo. Tonight on Fox News' The Five, co-host Dana Perino repeated GOP talking points multiple times to spin Ryan's destructive plan as a way to "preserve" Medicare:
PERINO: Paul Ryan's budget proposal, that included a way to preserve Medicare, has become a lightning rod issue in the 2012 presidential race, now that he has stepped into the race.
PERINO: Is it possibly, maybe, a brilliant move that now we are talking about Medicare and, as Bill Kristol explained, there were cuts of $760 billion, in Obamacare -- in Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Ryan would have preserved it in the trust fund and Romney says "well we'll just deal with that later." Maybe not such a bad idea. [emphasis added]
On the August 14 edition of Fox News' The Five, the co-hosts adopted the same talking points to defend Ryan's plan.
Co-host Eric Bolling described Ryan's plan as "the only one that will save Medicare." Later in the program, Bolling again said "If you're under 55, the savings from the Ryan plan will preserve Medicare so you can go to the voucher system, as you call it, it's actually called a payment --defined contribution. But it's also called payment system. But Medicare will be there for people."
Perino claimed Ryan's plan "doesn't even affect anybody that is currently 55 or under" and that it "preserves the program in the future." Later in the show, Perino said "I have done a lot of reading about this and now I am a bigger fan of the Ryan plan than ever because I actually think -- it is a way to preserve Medicare going forward."
Co-host Andrea Tantaros also joined in the all-out defense of Paul Ryan and his Medicare plan, saying he "is able to explain and clarify his position that has been so misrepresented, which is: He is not trying to cut Medicare, he is trying to save it."