Footage from June shows the GOP candidate promising to "do away with Medicaid and Medicare."
Memo to Republicans: Just stay away from cameras, all cameras. And if you can, travel back in time and implement this advice in April or so.
First, of course, there was the video of Mitt Romney talking about the "47 percent" at a May fundraiser. And now there's this video of Wisconsin candidate for U.S. Senate Tommy Thompson at a June Tea Party meeting:
The quote that's causing Thompson grief is this one:
Who better than me, who's already finished one of the entitlement programs, to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains that Thompson -- who was previously governor and also secretary of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush administration, is referring to welfare reform during his term as governor.
The clip, which has reportedly been circulated by liberal groups in the state, is damaging for obvious reasons: People like Medicare, and they don't want it to go away. (The poor, who like Medicaid, are much less likely to vote.) But there's another reason the video hurts. Thompson isn't exactly advocating getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid -- he's calling for giving seniors subsidies for Medicare, and block-granting Medicaid to states. That's roughly what the national GOP, including Mitt Romney and fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan, have suggested too. The Romney-Ryan plan is unpopular enough with most voters, but Republican insist they want to preserve these Great Society programs by making them solvent in the long term, even as President Obama and his allies accuse the GOP of trying to destroy them. And now here comes Tommy Thompson, essentially validating the Democrats' attack.