08/15/2012 05:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Rep. Elijah Cummings Says Paul Ryan Medicare Plan Was 'Over The Cliff' To The Right

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) "could barely get a vote" for his Medicare plans because they were so far to the right they were "over the cliff," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), said Wednesday in an interview on MSNBC.

Ryan, Mitt Romney's new running mate, has drawn heated criticism over his inability to pass his controversial proposals in Congress.

Speaking to MSNBC's Alex Wagner, Cummings suggested it's easy to see why.

"His budget is one that would basically decimate the middle class. It would be very harmful to the students that are in my district trying to get Pell Grants," Cummings said. "And Medicare, I mean, what he does with regard to Medicare should be a concern to anybody who thinks they might get a little older."

According to the Associated Press, Ryan's plan would turn Medicare into a type of voucher system that analysts say could mean higher healthcare costs for seniors.

Wagner asked Cummings if he was surprised by Mitt Romney's choice of Ryan as his running mate.

"You've got to remember that, before this Tea Party crowd came along, he could barely get a vote for that proposal and the reason why he could barely get a vote for that proposal out of his Republican Party is because they knew it was too far to the right, it is over the cliff to the right," Cummings said.

Cummings believes that Romney's pick will bode well for Democrats in the coming election. "And I guarantee you that's going to play a very significant role, not only in the presidential election, but I now have a lot of hope that we'll be able to take the House back, based upon that one selection," he said.

See the Ryan discussion at 08:21

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