Debbie Wasserman Shultz leads team of Democrats to Tampa to denounce the Romney-Ryan ticket

In St. Augustine this morning, Romney made no mention of Ryan’s plan to replace the current Medicare program with a system that Democrats say could require seniors to pay higher costs for medical care. But his critics certainly aren't being shy at all to talk about the Ryan budget, which the GOP-led House of Representatives approved in 2011 and then again earlier this year.

Moore said she hoped that the public will now get more engaged in following the campaign.

"I hope the American people will pull back the layers of this proposal and not just listen to these slogans about freedom and liberty, and actually look at the Romney-Ryan budget, and really make a choice about the kind of America they want to live in."

Moore mocked the language surrounding Ryan's controversial proposal on Medicare. "He doesn't want to call it a voucher, so I won't. He wants to call it 'premium support'," raising her voice slightly. "Where we send out seniors out to the private sector at the tender mercies of the insurance companies."

South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was named DNC chair last year, in part because of her efficiency in being able to stay on message in attacking Republicans. She joked that Florida was a "no-fly zone" for Ryan after the new presumptive vice presidential candidate was shipped to Iowa today while Romney toured the Sunshine State.

And she couldn't hide her glee in alluding to the fact that Governor Rick Scott introduced Romney in St. Augustine, the first time the two have been together on a campaign stump this year. She hit Scott on his problems with HCA, the health care company he controlled that was later found guilty of Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

"Floridians know that only those who love Rick Scott, could like Mitt Romney's failed record and top down economic policies, that have thrown middle class families under the bus."

Do you get the whole bus metaphor?

When asked by CL if she agreed with the notion in Washington that the Ryan selection now meant that the race had become more "serious," she pivoted onto her talking points.

"What we have is that the middle class has a serious problem. They already had a serious problem. Now Mitt Romney by selecting Congressman Ryan to be his running mate has doubled down the full embrace of the Ryan budget, which ends Medicare as we know it, shreds the health care safety net for seniors, raises taxes on the middle class to pay for budget busting tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires."

Amy Mandel is the owner of Feet First, a running shoe store. The news conference took place in the parking lot in front of her establishment (she owns a second store in St. Petersburg). A proud Democrat, Mandel heaped praise on President Obama, saying in part because of his tax policies, she had the best year of her small business career in 30 years.

"I'm not a politician. I'm just here to tell you the facts. And the facts are, the president has cut my small business taxes 18 times since he's been in office," she said.

Also speaking at the news conference was Massachusetts state Representative Jeff Sanchez, who has traveled to five different states taking shots at Romney's record while serving as governor from 2002-2006. "Nobody can figure out where he stands on absolutely anything," he said.

Tampa state Representative Arthenia Joyner joined the tour in Tampa, and promptly bashed Romney's tax plans, which, according to the liberal group Citizens for Tax Justice, give breaks to millionaires. "While he wants to raise your taxes, what does he have to say about his own?"

Earlier the tour held news conferences in Miami Gardens and Boca Raton.

  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz greets supporters in South Tampa

Although some media outlets had Paul Ryan on a shortlist for Mitt Romney's possible running mates, a number of folks have said they were surprised the former Massachusetts Governor went bold in taking the House Budget Chairman.

Count Ryan's Wisconsin Congressional colleague, Democrat Gwen Moore, as one of them.

Speaking to reporters in South Tampa as part of "The Middle Class Under the Bus” tour that had her, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Massachusetts State Representative Jeff Sanchez travel throughout the state on Monday, Moore said she was stunned that Ryan was selected, since the Romney campaign until now "had not had very much meat on the bones of their proposals."

Saying that this is indeed now a choice election, Moore said that the bromides that the Republicans have espoused about smaller government means "You are going to have less support through Medicare. You are not going to have Medicaid. You are not going to have Pell Grants. We're going to lower the tax rate for corporations who are people, and throw middle class people under the bus."

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