Last December, we learned that Senator Ron Wyden had been working with Congressman Paul Ryan to craft a Medicare reform plan.
Naturally, folks on both the left and the right freaked out. Liberals were worried that Wyden was giving bipartisan cover to Ryan, while conservatives cried foul, saying that Ryan sold them out. (Remember: the so-called Wyden/Ryan plan committed Ryan to protecting Medicare as a public option forever, just eight months after he promised to abolish it.)
And shortly thereafter, the Wyden/Ryan "plan" (which was really just a "conversation starter" policy paper, not fleshed-out legislation) was pretty well abandoned. Ryan went back to trying to pass a budget that put Medicare on a path to dissolution, and Wyden voted against that budget every chance he got.
Predictably, Mitt Romney is now citing the Wyden/Ryan collaboration as proof of Ryan's bipartisan cred.
Here's what Ron Wyden had to say about that:
Governor Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts.
I did not "co-lead a piece of legislation." I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget.
Governor Romney needs to learn you don't protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments sure won't help promote real bipartisanship.
And if you want to rewind the tape and actually dig in to what the Wyden/Ryan concept was (rather than what critics feared it might be), check out Wyden's 2400-word column at Huffington Post from March.