If you have "no place to go," come here!

Video: Former President Clinton And US Representative Paul Ryan Talking About Medicare Cuts

Alexa's picture

Here's a very "instructive" video of Former President Bill Clinton and US Representative Paul Ryan (WI), which was shot backstage at The Pete Peterson Foundation. It is accompanied by an excellent commentary by Cenk Uygur of "The Young Turks."

[Video Credit: "Clinton, Ryan Caught On Tape On Medicare Cuts," The Young Turks, YouTube, 04:53 minutes]

And here's a very abbreviated version of the same ABC video.

[Video Credit: "Bill Clinton and Paul Ryan Chumming It Up Like Old Buddies," JenningsBay, YouTube, 00:30 minutes]

Bill Clinton's Private Words to Paul Ryan Caught on Tape

[May 25, 2011] The day after the stunning upset in the special congressional election in upstate New York, Rep. Paul Ryan is a man under fire.

But ABC News was behind the scenes with the Wisconsin Congressman and GOP Budget Committee Chairman when he got some words of encouragement none other than former President Bill Clinton.

Below is a partial transcript of their conversation.

"So anyway, I told them before you got here, I said I'm glad we won this race in New York," Clinton told Ryan, when the two met backstage at a forum on the national debt held by the Pete Peterson Foundation. But he added, "I hope Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing."

In response, Ryan told Clinton he fears that now nothing will get done in Washington.

"My guess is it's going to sink into paralysis is what's going to happen. And you know the math. It's just, I mean, we knew we were putting ourselves out there. You gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving," Ryan said.

Clinton told Ryan that if he ever wanted to talk about it, he should "give me a call."

Ryan said he would.

The point of posting these videos is to remind readers that much of what we are witnessing today is very likely another carefully orchestrated episode of Kabuki Theater. The purpose of which is "to give cover to the President, when he strikes a 'Grand Bargain' with Republicans."

Both parties are working together to frighten us, in the hopes that we will be 'grateful' when they impose draconian cuts to Medicare and Social Security--as opposed to block granting Medicare, as "the Ryan Plan" recommends.

Even as I wrote this post, I wondered if lawmakers were meeting on Capital Hill, in an effort to negotiate a "deal" to commence dismantling our social safety net.

The question remains: Will the American People continue to stand by helplessly, or will they finally forcefully raise their voices in protest?

And more importantly--will it make a difference?

No votes yet


Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

to delete one of these (assuming that I'm able to), but worried that you might be deleting "the other one"--at the same time.

Would you mind deleting one of these--or at least letting me know that you're not going to, so that I can proceed to do so.

It ain't much--but I'd hate to "lose" both at the same time, LOL!



Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

posts--let me know if you'd rather that I not include both videos.

I did so because it appeared that Hipp may have had some question regarding the TYT video's authenticity.

But since it's somewhat redundant--I will gladly remove one.

The second video is quite a bit more brief, in the event that some readers don't care to hear (what I thought was excellent) commentary by Cenk Uygur.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Actually, I plan to post this video, along with others, to illustrate a completely different angle from what Lambert was referring to in the comment section the other day (the Grand Bargain).

I agree that it is not the best example of "collusion between the two parties on striking a Grand Bargain."

[And that's all that it was intended to illustrate.]

IMO, far worse than this conversation was the fact that FP Clinton signed off on the dismantling of a major portion of the (cash) safety net for the poor, known as AFDC or Aid For Dependent Children.

Or that FP Clinton had a part in the implementation of the last (CPI) "cut" to Social Security benefits--the change to a "Modified Pure Index." (Consumer Price Index)

[It was this version of "Chained CPI" that gave us the "hamburger to steak substitution scenario," as was discussed here extensively.]

I consider either of these acts to be considerably worse than the hypocrisy that this video reveals.

For context, this incident occurred during a period of very heavy Super Committee negotiations and rigamarole over "entitlement reform."

And, of course, the Dems' public position--except for PBO--was that they were "fighting tooth and nail" to block the cuts.

[May 25, 2011] The day after the stunning upset in the special congressional election in upstate New York, Rep. Paul Ryan is a man under fire.

The quote above are the words of ABC News, as far as I can tell.

I consider it to be a logical conclusion that both men were aware of the "stunning upset" which occurred just the previous evening, on May 24, 2011.

This "stunning upset" [Republican] was centered upon Representative Ryan's proposal to reform Medicare--which is the reason for ABC's characterization of him as being "a man under fire." (after this upset)

Bottom line: The Democratic candidate's win was attributed to her strong stance against make any cuts to Medicare. She made the center of her campaign, all about Ryan's proposed Medicare reform.

IMO, for FP Clinton to speak to this topic as he did--and to of all people, Rep Ryan himself--when the Democratic Party Candidate, Kathy Hochul, had literally just won the seat based upon her "fight against Medicare cuts"--reeks of duplicity.

So, in its proper context, when FP Clinton declares

"So anyway, I told them before you got here, I said I'm glad we won this race in New York," Clinton told Ryan, . . . "I hope Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing."

it comes across as "beyond cynical," IMO.

Hey, I suppose that incidents like this have become so commonplace that they don't really even register as "objectionable" anymore. [And that's cool.]

I am sorry that I was too pushed at the time to provide the appropriate context.

(My) Lesson Learned: Don't post if you don't have sufficient time to do the job right. ;-)

[Lambert, I will add this brief explanation to the original post as an "update," when I get a chance.]

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I'm sorry, I don't mean to bust on your post, but this video just adds absolutely nothing except an opportunity for a history lesson from Cenk. Without an exhaustive explanation of the back story, connections, history, etc., it is a meaningless clip. Even with that back story, it isn't noteworthy in any way. First off, he says "I'm glad we won this race", now a real story would be if he said "I'm sorry we won this race", right? A statement like "I hope the Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing" (or however that went), could, in the hands of a very shrewd operator like Clinton, mean ANYTHING.

I mean, political elites from opposing tribes are cordial in a private moment at a public function, film at eleven.

Submitted by hipparchia on

here are some of the reasons why I do not ever believe any video footage whatsoever without extensive corroborating PROOF from other sources:

I don't especially like bill Clinton, and I don't especially consider him "left" or "liberal" but the far right certainly has a rich recent history of using doctored videos to discredit anybody who can be even vaguely thought of left-leaning. I typed "The day after the stunning upset in the special congressional election in upstate New York, Rep. Paul Ryan is a man under fire" into my search engine and got one abc news link and a gazillion links to right-wingers, so until I see lots and lots of proof otherwise, this looks to me like just another right-wing attempt at character assassination.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

And honestly, I've never stated that there are no "bad or doctored videos" on the world wide web, LOL!

Please, we need to narrow this discussion back to the subject at hand, if we could.

I've decided instead of updating this blog post, to delete it and repost it as I had "originally intended." So an update won't be in order.

But, if you didn't bring up a believeable aritcle on FP Clinton's speech and this incident "caught on tape by ABC News," please let me know, and I'll just go ahead and furnish it.

This IS actual video taken by ABC News--not some anonymous bystander. It is posted on the ABC website that their cameras "picked this up."

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Not to kneejerk defend Clinton, but this is a horrifically edited exchange. There is no way to know what they were talking. Could have been nearly anything.

I have had similar "cordial" "good buddy" exchanges in professional settings with people I have utter contempt for and wouldn't piss on if they were on fire. But, if they are in a position that you need to work with them, this is the kind of conversation you have.

File this under Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

Can't remember, Cenk Uygur is what? Obama-is-not-going-to-help-you Class of 2009?

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

link below.

New York's 26th congressional district special election, 2011


The district is traditionally a safe Republican seat, having been continuously represented by Republicans since Jack Kemp's election in 1970. Democrats had made serious, but unsuccessful, attempts to gain the seat with self-financed candidate Jack Davis in 2004 and 2006 as well as Alice Kryzan in 2008, but nominated only token opposition in 2010 when Philip Fedele ran.


According to many observers, the campaign "turned into a referendum on the Republican plan to overhaul Medicare" because of Corwin's support for the Republican alternative budget proposed by Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a proposal that would replace government-provided health care with partial subsidies for the cost of private medical insurance.[9] Hochul criticized the Ryan plan and supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Corwin wants to repeal completely.[10] Davis opposed both the Ryan plan and the Affordable Care Act. . . .

It was the New York Democratic Party itself that claimed that Hochus' victory should be attributed to her staunch defense of Medicare.

I hope that everyone takes the time to listen to Cenk's video.

I always assumed that he was partly basing his analysis of this video on the results of, and issues in the 26th Congressional District election.

I honestly don't know Cenk's politics, except that he is not afraid to "call out corporatists." And I like that!

Heck, I've got scores of "clips" that I'll be posting of many prominent Democratic politicians (including the Clintons) before the midterms and the 2016 elections.

I will make sure to give the "full context" of all the videos that I post, in the future.


Submitted by lambert on

,,, but I sure didn't 'til you reminded me (and I do try to keep track).

So, context is important.

Also too provenance. As we know from Syria, there's no reason to trust video just because it's video (even though millions of people seem to do just that). So, if, as Hipparchia points out, it's been heavily edited, that needs to be stated in the post, and maybe even the motivation for the edits posted. Because otherwise people have to listen to the whole thing and then make their own judgments, where the value add from us should be providing the provenance and the context.

For myself -- and I only very rarely do this work, so I don't know the effort at all -- videos like CSPAN, if edited by one of us, and other videos like interviews with transcripts (like Moyers) are the gold standard, the latter because I can independently verify the claims made about the video. Other stuff starts getting suspect, and the more tendentious the source, the less trustworthy the video is. I remember the "War Room" episode from 2008 very well -- and these are people who are supposed to be "on our side."

Stern lecture over. I love the videos, lots of videos. But method is all important.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Below is an excerpt from ABC News:

Democrats make no bones about why they believe they won in a solidly Republican district -- voter anger at Paul Ryan’s controversial plan to restructure Medicare.

“It was about Medicare,” Clinton said during a speech to the debt forum minutes before he met Ryan back stage. Clinton was referring to Ryan’s controversial budget plan, passed by the House this year, which would transform Medicare for those under the age of 55.

“You shouldn’t draw the conclusion that the New York race means that nobody can do anything solve the rising Medicare costs,” said during his speech. “I just don’t agree with that. I think you should draw the conclusion that the people made a judgment that this proposal in the Republican is not the right one. I agree with that, but I’m afraid that the Democrats will draw the conclusion that because Congressman Ryan’s proposal, I think, is not the best one, that we shouldn’t do anything and I completely disagree with that.”

I'm going to "pull this post," update it with excerpts from ABC and "Wikipedia," and repost it at a later date.

[There will probably be substantial "lag time," Lambert. I'll do it as soon as possible, though.]

This post, and I would hope others like it, should be front-paged and "Tweeted, "if and when the Democratic Party actually enacts legislation that begins to dismantle Social Security and Medicare.

BTW, I do have a couple of comments to make on "another aspect" of this post, but will have to come back later to do so.

[All "links" will be provided in my repost. I would think that a search will yield the above-referenced piece.;-)]

Submitted by lambert on

... or its goals, which sound great to me. It's just that (Hipparchia gives numerous examples above) the provenance of video needs to be firmly nailed down. Method counts higher than desired outcome. There are plenty of sites on the internet that just make stuff up or more charitably are sloppy about sourcing. (See my link to the War Room story above,) I strongly believe that the left (granted, a vague term) has any hope of countering the massive architecture of bullshit and lies managed and propagated by the political class, it's through truth telling, and one aspect of that is utterly scrupulous attention to citation when facts are presented through resources, especially video, because it's so easy to fake.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

with an "Update," which will primarily be the an ABC piece which states "ABC News was behind the scenes with the Wisconsin Congressman and GOP Budget Committee Chairman when he got some words of encouragement none other than former President Bill Clinton." And, the ABC News "logo" is on the video.

So, before I repost an "update" (to be removed once interested parties who dispute the video, have a chance to read the update)--would an ABC article that "lays claim to the video" be enough to show provenance?

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

The conversation here is very important and shouldn't be shoved down the memory hole. Correntewire has been one of the few places where "any stick to beat a dog" is NOT appreciated. This video is brutally edited, and, in fact, your ABC News quote gets exactly at what I was describing. Clinton is says in this speech that Medicare's spiralling costs can't be ignored and the Republicans were right to be beaten. Two separate things and I agree with him on both! It is pure conjecture that he therefore is advocating cutting Medicare service. He is a VERY skilled, and shrewd wordsmith. May he be wanting to introduce cost controls that benefit Big Pharma, and other corporate leeches by cutting drug costs, etc.? You don't know, and neither do I, and neither does Cenk Uygur. The ONLY purpose for using this video is to insinuate, without real evidence, that Clinton is advocating a Paul Ryan type solution.

We've been burned by this kind of cheap trickery before, it was the hot tar flowing out of the RW, then out of Team Obama. We are better than that.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

you are welcome to copy any (or all) of the post.

I'll leave the post up at least several more days.

I hope that you take the time to read the ABC piece for context. Also, I haven't had a chance to re-watch it, but Hipp says the wording in the C-Span taped version is almost identical.

So I don't believe there was any "trickery" involved.

I know that I'm not a big fan of Jon Karl (ABC), but I don't believe that he fabricated the original story that was later posted in the ABC blog, "The Note."

BTW, the TYT video is also posted in the "comments section" of this blog.

Here's the link to it and the comments.

As to the "purpose" of posting this video, I was asked to post it as a stand-alone post, after first posting it in the comments section of the blog post "Ted Cruz R - Goldman Sachs."

That's the reason for the post.

But I assure you--this video along with others, will reappear.

But next time, it will be in the context that I "originally" intended.

And like I said to Hipp:

Hey, everyone has their own life's experiences and "filters."

And I expect that everyone will form their own opinion about this video--which is as it should be.

Therefore, whatever one wants to take away from it--so be it!


Submitted by lambert on

... because I thought the general topic was important (and it is!). But I didn't understand the video well enough, or was too hasty to tease out the implications of it, or maybe was on my iPad which doesn't even run video, or perhaps I wouldn't have asked. In general, I am not good at video. So in many ways, this is my bad.

* * *

On the other hand, please do not delete the post. A post doesn't need to be correct to be valuable, and the comments here reinforce principles that are important.

And I can't have people deleting posts willy nilly -- Correte has been going for what, 10 years now, and it serves an archival function. For all we know, this is going to be the only place where this video is discussed at all -- that's certainly true for some episodes in campaign 2008, and that's only 5 years ago! There can't be holes in the archives!

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Mr. A just gave me an idea how I can probably rework this into my original idea for a post of this video.

I'll at least try it--and see if it will work.

What I really need to know from you is--with Hipp finding C-Span video that supports the accuracy of the spoken words between FP Clinton and Rep Ryan--not to mention the report from a mainstream media reporter, John Karl--what "aspect of the video" are you still concerned about "not being correct?"

Can you please furnish me that guidance?

I know that you're busy, Lambert, But I really need to know what your standard is--not that of fellow bloggers.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

purpose (as I've mentioned to you), anyway.

So deleting it and reposting it in a more appropriate blog post, is no problem. ;-)

And thankfully, most of my other videos are from the C-Span Video Library.

So if there is a dispute over their authenticity, there will be a process which will allow readers to verify it.