Paul Ryan booed at AARP

September 21, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, La. – GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan got boos – as well as some applause -- from the crowd at the AARP’s annual convention here Friday morning as he delivered an address in which he touted his plan to overhaul Medicare and harshly criticized President Obama, who addressed the seniors’ advocacy group via satellite ahead of Ryan.

He was loudly booed several times for pledging to repeal Obama’s signature health care law. But he received applause from the crowd when he spoke about his family and noted that his 78-year-old mother, Betty Douglas, was in the audience, just as she has been at other events where Ryan has focused on entitlement reform.

“You know President Obama’s slogan, right?” Ryan told the crowd of seniors gathered in a ballroom of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Friday. “’Forward’ -- forward into a future where seniors are denied the care they earned because a bureaucrat decided it wasn’t worth the money.”

“Lie!” one woman in the crowd yelled as others booed. “Liar!” yelled another.

The crowd was silent for most of Ryan’s speech and applauded him as he took and left the stage. But some attendees responded with loud disapproval of Ryan’s criticisms of Obama as well as during some of his descriptions of his own Medicare plan.

At one point, when Ryan told the ballroom that “all that we need now is leaders who have the political will to save and strengthen Social Security,” one man loudly quipped: “Got one!”

At other points in his speech, scattered attendees yelled out, “No vouchers!” and “Tax the one percent!”

Ryan’s address, much like Obama’s remarks via video earlier in the day, was both a sharp critique of the other side as well as a defense of the candidate’s plans for the future of the popular health care program for the elderly and the disabled.

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