"Remember the wheelchair being pushed over the cliff when you had Ryan chosen as your vice president? That was the end of the campaign, by the way, when they chose Ryan. And I like him, he's a nice person, but that was the end of the campaign."
- Donald Trump
We believe America’s elderly - regardless of their work history - are entitled to a modest guaranteed income and healthcare. We believe that non-elderly Americans should pay taxes to cover the costs. We also believe that the only appropriate administrator of such a crucial entitlement is the federal government.
Conservatives do not agree with us. They call it “entitlement reform” and claim to want to “strengthen retirement security” and “extend the life of social security”. They are lying.
In May 2011, rising GOP star Congressman Paul Ryan introduced a budget to the House Budget Committee that would end Medicare as we know it. Despite the impact gutting this program would have on the health of elderly Americans, media coverage of the budget was stuck at “bold” and “serious.”
In order to make sure that every single American actually understood what conservatives were actually trying to do, we cut an ad with a Paul Ryan look alike pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair off a cliff.
Yes, we showed the body falling.
Yes, we stopped Paul Ryan in his tracks.
The ad generated millions of dollars of earned media as conservatives exploded in outrage. The Washington Times op-ed page compared the ad to the infamous 1964 “daisy and the mushroom cloud” attack ad against Barry Goldwater. In an interview with the WSJ, Ryan blamed the AP Action Fund for turning the country against his plan. He called the ad a particularly egregious example of “demagoguery.” Overall it garnered 20+ million media impressions and more than 300,000 YouTube views. Some media highlights include: The New York Times, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, The Week, The Baltimore Sun, Morning Joe, Varney & Co., Neil Cavuto, The Ed Show, The Sean Hannity Show, and The O’Reilly Factor.
We doubled down on our attack when Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate. Granny Off the Cliff Part 2 connected Paul Ryan’s anti-Medicare stance to Mitt Romney’s non-existent Christian values. Chris Matthews said Granny was his favorite ad of 2012. He said the ad "reflects what the Ryan budget is all about. If you're rich, we take care of you. If you're poor, off the cliff."
Over the last six years, Granny Off the Cliff has stayed front and center of the fight to preserve Medicare and Social Security. When Paul Ryan released his book, The Way Forward, we hand-delivered a copy to every national media outlet in the country with our (more accurate) version of the cover. Jeb Bush mentioned Granny in an address to conservatives during his presidential run. Ted Cruz was asked about Granny in one of the GOP debates. Most recently, Donald Trump blamed Granny – and Paul Ryan’s unrelenting efforts to cut social security – for Mitt Romney’s failure to win the presidency.
Granny will be rolling over conservatives until they finally, fully give up their plans to throw her off a cliff.