Protesters greet GOP vice presidential candidate Ryan in Carnegie
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About 40 anti-Republican demonstrators greeted those arriving for the Pennsylvania debut of GOP vice presidential pick Paul Ryan this morning on the traffic-choked streets of Carnegie.
Mr. Ryan, the conservative House budget chairman from Wisconsin and running mate of presumed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was due to speak late this morning at a private steelmaker in Rosslyn Farms. A counter-protest organized by One Pittsburgh, a coalition of labor, church and activist groups, lined the street leading to the GOP event, with many participants carrying signs deriding Medicare reform proposals Mr. Ryan has tucked into past budget plans.
One large sign said: "Romney Ryan Medicare Vouchers: Sign Up Today!" Another said "Romney/Ryan plan: RIP Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security."
President Barack Obama's reelection campaign held an adjacent counter-rally to voice the same criticisms of Mr. Ryan's Medicare proposals, which have lately included a choice of entering the government health insurance program or receiving vouchers for private insurance coverage starting in 2023. The Republican ticket has criticized Mr. Obama's health overhaul for budgeting $716 billion in Medicare cuts in reimbursements to health providers, while Democrats have responded that Mr. Ryan's plans budgeted the same savings, while instituting the move to a partly private insurance model.
"We don't need your poison, we don't need you in Pennsylvania, go back to where you came from," said a fiesty Jack Shea, president of the Allegheny County Labor Council.
"We want to make sure that the message gets out there: For the middle class, for working people and for jobs, President Obama and Joe Biden are the answers," said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, a Democrat.
"If the Ryan budget had been enacted we would have lost 165 clean energy projects here in within the state. This is not the direction Pennsylvania needs to go," said Democratic Braddock Mayor John Fetterman. Gesturing to the group of protesters, which included his wife and children, Mr. Fetterman said, "You can tell by this support, people do not want Paul Ryan and his budget and this ticket in this area."
First Published August 21, 2012 11:27 am