If Republican Jane Corwin goes down in defeat in the May 24 special election in New York's 26th congressional district, blame Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget, Donald Trump said Wednesday.
Trump, speaking in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, blamed Ryan's budget proposal — in particular, its controversial provision to reform Medicare — for dragging Corwin into a competitive race to replace resigned Rep. Chris Lee (R).
"A very popular Republican woman is running for the office. She was expected to win easily," Trump said in the Granite State. "She's having a hard time defending that whole situation with Medicare."
Trump, who has been flirting with a presidential run, has sounded the alarm on Ryan's budget since its release, expressing worry that the 2012 budget would be used by Democrats politically against Republicans.
"The Democrats are going to use every single cut he’s making to anybody as a negative," he told the conservative magazine Newsmax in April. "And don’t forget, we have an election to win.”
And true to his prediction, Democrats and liberal groups have seized on the Ryan plan and its provisions to reform Medicare. They've run ads against a number of Republicans, and Corwin's faced tough questions about her support for the Ryan plan.
The latest polling has shown that Corwin's locked in a three-way tie with Democrat Kathy Hochul and Jack Davis, a former Democrat-turned-Tea Party supporter. Republicans and outside conservative groups have scrambled support for the GOP candidate, having reserved ad time on her behalf, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) visited the district on Monday.
Ryan's admitted that Republicans face a "challenge" in promoting his budget, but he denied that the GOP's losing the messaging war.
Trump was more blunt.
"The Republicans have elections to win," he said. "The Democrats, you talk about demagogue, are doing a number on that plan unlike anything I've ever seen."