By Meghashyam Mali - 09/16/12 02:18 PM EDT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday said that Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate helped tip the battle for the House in Democrats’ favor.
“On August 11, when Gov. Romney chose Ryan, that was the pivotal day,” said Pelosi, in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union. “That is the day things really changed. We were on a path. I would have said to you then we were dead even. Well, the momentum is very much with us.”
Pelosi said voter concerns about Ryan’s Medicare plans, which would shift those under 55 to a subsidized private-insurance model, gave Democrats’ an “excellent” chance to win the 25 seats needed for a House majority.
“We have been saying there are three important issues in this campaign. And in alphabetical order, they are Medicare, Medicare, Medicare,” said Pelosi.
The GOP ticket though has gone on the offensive over Medicare, seeking to dent the Democratic advantage on the issue. Romney and Ryan have accused the Obama administration of weakening the program with $716 billion in “disastrous cuts” to fund his own healthcare reform bill.
The White House has countered that those reductions in spending are to Medicare over the next decade and came from trimming waste and fraud. The president has also touted a study from a liberal advocacy group with ties to the administration claiming the GOP reforms would mean billions in profits for insurance companies at the cost of seniors’ benefits.
In her interview, Pelosi also declined to speculate about whether she would run for Democratic leader or Speaker after the next election.
“I feel very confident in our ability to win, who will lead the party after that is up to our members,” she said.