Overflow crowds for Paul Ryan town halls

Jennifer Haberkorn
Politico
4/26/2011

Record crowds of supporters and opponents flood meetings throughout southeastern Wisconsin. AP Photo

KENOSHA, Wis. — Record crowds of supporters and opponents flooded town hall meetings throughout southeastern Wisconsin on Tuesday to hear Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) defend his plan to trim government spending — including controversial changes to the Medicare program…

…The attention is much more than Ryan has been used to. Before the Kenosha meeting, the dozen “regulars” at the Lake Geneva, Wis., town hall meeting were shocked to see well more than 100 people turn out. Down the road in Paddock Lake, the meeting room reached capacity of 75 people before it was due to start and several constituents and reporters were left outside…

…Using a PowerPoint presentation that he said he prepared himself, Ryan pushed back on the criticism to his budget plan largely by pitting it against President Barack Obama’s health care reform law and budget proposal, which calls for strengthening the Independent Payment Advisory Board…

…Ryan dismissed the criticism while talking with reporters outside of one meeting. He chalked it up simply to Democrats twisting his plan around.

“Scaring seniors comes out every two years,” he said. ‘The challenge we have is getting through the demagoguery.”

And Ryan supporters also stepped up to thank him for tackling the budget.

“What you’re doing requires a great deal of moral courage,” William Keough, a 68-year-old from Salem, Wis., told Ryan. “Your countrymen recognize that.”

Read the entire article at Politico

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