Another Republican got bitten in the bum by the Ryan budget. Florida state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who is running for US Senate, was kicked off of a conservative radio show after he refused to answer how he would vote on the Ryan budget. Oopsie. Poor Mike tried to do the GOP duck and dodge, but the conservative radio host, “Ray Junior”, was having none of it.
Ray Junior pointed out that it was Mikey who brought up budget in the first place, and the voters needed to know how Mikey was going to vote. Mikey claimed that the Ryan budget was hypothetical, so he couldn’t answer, but in general, he’s “for” a balanced budget. But then Ray hooked him by pointing out that every candidate has to answer hypothetical questions.
Cue the confusion. Perhaps Mikey only got the Fox News training, but for whatever reason, he was woefully unprepared to answer real questions and seemed rather piqued at being asked for real solutions, as if this were an affront.
The Orlando based Ray Junior Show touts itself as “…the best in bold, conservative talk. America’s Loose Cannon, Ray Junior, has no fear of telling the truth, no matter which party it hurts or who it aggravates.” There might be some truth to that claim and Republicans might want to take note. Listen here:
Ray: Mike, talk to me, don’t talk around me, don’t talk over me, talk to me. The question is simple. You’re a senator today, the Ryan plan comes across your desk are you voting yes or no?
Mike: I’m not going to get into that today because it’s not the vote I’m dealing with —
Ray: No, but you’re on MY show. This is the question I’m asking. We’re trying to figure out whether we want to vote for you to become a US Senator. Are you voting for the Ryan Plan or not? It’s not about what you want to talk about, it’s what I want to talk about. I want to know, do you vote for this bill or not.
Mike: (Doubling down on the Republican media training to repeat his talking points no matter what he’s asked) What I’d like to talk about is simple –
If you start counting how many Republicans answer a question with this statement so they can shift the topic of the debate to their talking points, you’ll get dizzy. Michele Bachmann is a notorious abuser of this handy trick. Ray Junior is having none of it.
Ray: I’m not interested in what you want to talk about, I’m interested in what I want to talk about. I’m interested in what the voters want to talk about. The voters want to talk about the budget. And I’m interested in what I want to talk about. My show. Tell me, are you voting for the Ryan plan, yes or no.
Mike: I-I-uh-I guess I don’t have all of the information with which to make that decision yet.
Note as we slide into the “we haven’t even gotten a chance to read that bill” yet territory, yet we all know they have aides assigned to do reading for them, even if they are challenged in that respect.
Ray: How could you possibly not have all of that information, you’re running for Senate?
Good question, Ray. And if you haven’t bothered to read it yet, but you are running on a balanced budget, how in the HELL can you pretend you are qualified to run for US Senate? We do not need more Republicans claiming they can’t read in the US Senate.
Mike: Wait, wait, I thought you wanted to talk about what we’ve accomplished (i.e., my talking points) – Not about a hypothetical.
Ray: Your guy said hey, I’d like to get him on the show, I said, fine, let’s bring him on the show, so I’m asking you that question. You know the only reason people avoid questions like this is because they don’t want to be tied in when, they don’t want to have people see how they would actually do things. There’s no reason to avoid this question. How could you possibly be running for US Senate and not know what’s in the Ryan bill?
Um, Ray, you might want to talk to some of those other Republicans who are actually in office, but couldn’t manage to read the healthcare reform bill in over 9 months. This bill allergy and reading aversion thingy is an epidemic.
Mike: I-I-I know what’s in the Ryan bill, but again, what you’re asking me is a fair question, what I’m –
Ray: OK, I’d like a fair answer.
Oopsie, Ray Junior just pissed all over that dodge, also known as the “embrace-the-inquisitor” dodge.
Mike: A lot of people are talking, about hypotheticals, if they run, if they win, let’s talk about what I actually accomplished –
Ray: (laughing with disbelief) Every – listen, no, no, no, you’re not doing that Mike. Every single thing a person talks about when they’re on the campaign trail is a hypothetical. A 100% of it. There’s nothing that’s not hypothetical. The only way we know whether it’s going to be true or not is after they get into office, whether they follow through on the things they said they would do. That’s why I’m asking you, would you vote yes or no on the Ryan plan?
Mike: Exactly what I’m bringing up my point, I made a promise to balance the budget not raise taxes not raise –
Ray: OK, does the Ryan Plan do that? Does the Ryan Plan do that? (Ray now holding his head with frustration.)
Mike: The Ryan Plan is what’s in Washington, DC –
Ray: (laughing) OK, get him off my phone. I don’t want anything to do with this guy. Get rid of him.
We can’t attribute this to a sudden decision to call these boys on their nonsense, because that is simply not how the GOP rolls. What we’re seeing in response to the Ryan Plan is the far right pushing back on the “RINOs”, sniffing around for “true” Tea Party conservatives like, oh, I dunno, Paul Ryan. While the far right pushes to see who will support the Ryan Plan, middle America is finally learning a few things about what these Tea Party values really mean. Good for Ray Junior for pushing Mike on his Ryan Plan stance, but I’m afraid we’re going to see a lot more of that duck and dodge leading up to 2012. They can’t vote for it and get elected, but they can’t say they wouldn’t vote for it and get elected.
What a pickle. Thank you, Paul Ryan, for finally managing to show the American people the truth about the Republican agenda regarding the social safety net. It’s not pretty.