The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: Candidates Still Sparring on Medicare

by Newsteam Staff
August 16, 2012

Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive by bus in Dubuque, Iowa, August 15, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive by bus in Dubuque, Iowa, August 15, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

Candidates continue to make Medicare a campaign trail issue as voters worry about the future of the program (NYT) in an economy-focused race.

Republican vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) told voters their tax dollars are paying for the president’s new healthcare law, not just Social Security and Medicare. “Look at your paycheck,” the New York Times reports Ryan said. “Look at the line that shows your payroll taxes. They are supposed to go to two programs, Social Security and Medicare, period. Now because of President Obama they’re also going to pay for Obamacare.”

On the last leg of his three-day tour of Iowa, the president responded to GOP pronouncements that signature 2010 healthcare overhaul cut more $716 billion from the insurance program for the elderly by saying the cuts, which come from curtailing subsidies to insurance companies and the elimination of waste and inefficiency, will not hurt Medicare recipients (USAToday).


The 2012 presidential race has been a factor in the Obama administration decision to not become militarily involved in Syria, writes the Washington Times’ Guy Taylor, and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s rhetoric on Syria has been much the same as Obama’s.

“What the Obama administration is doing – what Romney ultimately would do – is hoping that the Syrian situation would take care of itself,” Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute told the Washington Times.

The United States has committed a total of $82 million in humanitarian aid (AP), as well as non-lethal support to Syrian rebels, but has so far resisted calls for military intervention in Syria.


Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain — President Barack Obama’s opponent in 2008 — suggests President Obama replace Vice President Joe Biden with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on the 2012 Democratic ticket (ABC).

– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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