But Hasner is now running in the liberal-leaning Congressional District 22 in Broward and Palm Beach counties. For Hasner to win, he has to appeal to moderates. During the Tower Forum today in West Palm Beach, Hasner tried to avoid the rhetoric of partisan warfare in his battle against Democratic opponent Lois Frankel, also a former state legislator and the former mayor of West Palm Beach.
“Regardless your political affiliation, I think we can all agree Washington is broken and both parties are to blame...,” Hasner said. “This election it’s not about Republicans and Democrats, it’s not about conservatives and liberals, this election is about math. We can’t keep spending a trillion dollars a more a year than we are bringing in.
Frankel’s critics in West Palm Beach say as mayor she was harsh and steamrolled opponents. And there was a nod to that when she said “surely we made mistakes along way and had some tough fights with critics.”
But at the forum she talked about her goal of being a problem solver and trying “to find the middle ground where it’s possible.”
Their most significant policy dispute was about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan. Frankel criticized Hasner for supporting a plan that she said “takes scholarships from college students, it cuts health benefits for veterans, it raises the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and defunds Planned Parenthood.” (Here’s a look at what PolitiFact said about another Democrat’s claim that Ryan’s plan would cut veterans benefits: PolitiFact wrote that Ryan’s short-term budgets increase spending for veterans and we don’t know enough details to determine what will happen in the long term.)
“I am fairly certain that our budget deficit was not caused by children with autism or 90-year-old grannies in nursing homes so why take it out on them by cutting services?” Frankel said. She said that Ryan’s Medicare voucher plan would cost the oldest and sickest “$6,000 more a year.”
Hasner said that Frankel’s claim about the $6,000 increase is “simply not true” and based upon an earlier version of the plan. Hasner has said he personally embraces the “bipartisan” Wyden-Ryan plan.
Ryan's 2011 proposal moved all of Medicare to private companies. He later teamed up with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) on a policy paper that didn’t become legislation and lacked details. Ryan then released another version of his plan in 2012 but again that wasn’t a detailed proposal. Wyden has distanced himself from the Republicans’ efforts to portray him as a bipartisan partner in the Ryan plan: The Huffington Post included this quote from Wyden: “I did not ‘co-lead a piece of legislation.' I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare."
PolitiFact has examined claims by Democrats that the Romney-Ryan Medicare voucher plan would cost seniors $6,400 -- here is an example where we rated that Half True because that claim relies on an analysis of an outdated Republican plan.