Soledad O'Brien and Mitt Romney backer John Sununu got into a fierce shouting match about Medicare and Paul Ryan on Tuesday's "Starting Point."
Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor who is never less than enthusiastic in his media appearances, came ready to rumble with O'Brien, and rumble they did. The topic: the difference between vice presidential candidate Ryan's controversial budget plan and Romney's own plan. O'Brien said that the two plans appeared very similar.
"Isn't the Ryan plan the Romney plan?" she asked. "No, it isn't," Sununu said.
O'Brien then read a quote of Romney saying it would be "marvelous" if the Senate passed Ryan's plan. "That sounds like a lot of support. Am I wrong?" she said. Sununu repeated that Romney had his own plan.
Things went wild, though, when Sununu said that Romney's plan would not "gut" Medicare by $717 billion as Obama's and Ryan's had. O'Brien immediately said that this was a "Republican talking point" whose figures have been "debunked."
"No, they haven't," Sununu said. "Yes they have!" O'Brien replied. She said that Obama's plan cuts "the expected rate of growth" in Medicare, not the program itself.
"Soledad, stop this!" Sununu said. "All you're doing is mimicking the stuff that comes out of the White House and gets repeated on the Democratic blog boards out there. If you're going to mouth what comes out of the White House -- "
"I'm telling you what FactCheck.com tells you," O'Brien shot back. "I'm telling what the CBO and CNN's independent analysis does."
"Put a Obama bumper sticker on your forehead when you do this," Sununu yelled.
O'Brien eventually had to cut him off, saying, "let me finish." As Sununu quieted, she continued, "There's independent analysis, fact check.com, the CBO and CNN has already done its own independent analysis, and name calling to me and somehow acting as if by repeating a number of $716 billion that you can make that stick when that figure is being stolen from Medicare, that's not true. You can't just repeat it and make it true, sir."