Dome: GOP video doesn't reveal all of Bowles' thoughts on Ryan

From staff reportsAugust 14, 2012 

A video clip of Erskine Bowles, the co-chairman of President Obama’s deficit commission, singing the praises of fellow number cruncher Paul Ryan is making the rounds on the Internet – but it doesn’t accurately represent his entire speech.

In fact, the video maker cut out the part of the speech where Bowles calls the Wisconsin congressman’s 2011 plan for Medicare “pretty radical.” (Hear the complete audio at

Republicans instead focus on such quotes as this one in the clip: “I’m telling you, this guy is amazing,” Bowles says of Ryan. “I always thought I was OK with arithmetic. This guy can run circles around me.”

Later in the speech, Bowles went point-by-point comparing the plan drafted by the deficit commission he co-chaired to Ryan’s proposal.

What’s cut from the video is Bowles’ discussion of making Medicare a defined contribution plan, instead of a defined benefit plan. “We thought that was a pretty radical change,” Bowles said. “And what we said is, let’s test it in the federal employees’ health care plan and see if it works. What we would rather do is, we cut spending in the health care programs by about $450 billion. And our hope was … we wouldn’t have to do something more drastic like Paul had recommended, or something more drastic like a single payer plan.”

Lawmakers get poor marks

The American Civil Liberties Union released its legislative report card Tuesday, and no state lawmakers received all positive marks.

The ACLU tracked four main bills this session: expanded ballot access, DNA collection upon arrest, weakening the Racial Justice Act, and the amendment banning gay marriage and domestic unions. Most lawmakers (even Democrats) tripped up on the DNA provision because it was tucked in another bill.

Many Republicans didn’t get any positive “torches” (the brighter Lady Liberty’s torch shines, the better the position on civil liberties, the ACLU explained). The lawmaker with the most torches: Orange County Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, a Democrat.

Charlotte sees ad onslaught

Charlotte is ranked No. 5 in the media markets nationwide seeing the most presidential campaign advertising this week.

The NBC rankings show that Romney and Republican groups are dominating the airwaves with the candidate’s campaign, a GOP super PAC, the Republican National Committee and Americans for Prosperity all hitting President Barack Obama in the city where he will accept the nomination.

It also shows that the buy is very small and insignificant. North Carolina markets have shuffled in and out of the top 10 in presidential advertising for months, but this seemingly concerted GOP concentration on Charlotte is revealing.

The NBC list:

1. Roanoke-Lynchburg

2. Colorado Springs

3. Des Moines

4. Denver

5. Charlotte

Staff writer John Frank

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