Oh, Barry

Sheldon Whitehouse must be smiling. Barry Hinckley, the Republican challenging Rhode Island's junior senator, is attacking the incumbent for voting against Congressman Paul Ryan's budget, which would - in Democratic parlance - "end Medicare as we know it."

From golocalprov:

Despite his support for Medicare and Social Security, Hinckley says Ryan’s proposed budget is a good starting point to getting the country back on firm financial footing. He said he doesn’t agree with everything in the budget, but he confirmed that he would have voted for it.

Hinckley maintains that Medicare needs to be “saved from itself.”

“[Senator] Whitehouse’s refusal to act (or even acknowledge the problem) is extremely irresponsible,” Hinckley said. “Not only is Whitehouse spreading falsehoods about proposals to reform Medicare (to save it from itself), he has refused to offer any plan of his own to address the problem. This inaction is akin to ordering that music play louder as the Titanic slowly slips below the surface.”

And this just days after a Democrat, in a special election, rode the Medicare issue to an upset victory in a reliably Republican New York Congressional district.

Hinckley, of course, was a longshot to begin with. But his position also creates problems for the broader Rhode Island GOP as it crafts a message for the 2012 election.

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