Romney campaign takes to airwaves with Medicare response
August 14th, 2012
03:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney campaign takes to airwaves with Medicare response

(CNN) - Mitt Romney's campaign is taking their pushback on Democratic attacks on Paul Ryan's Medicare plan from the campaign trail and surrogate interviews to the commercial breaks.

The Republican presidential campaign announced Tuesday that they're going up with a new TV ad that claims that President Barack Obama's cut more than $700 billion from Medicare.

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"You paid in to Medicare for years. Every paycheck. Now, when you need it Obama has cut $716 billion dollars from Medicare," says the narrator in the commercial. "Why? To pay for Obamacare. So now the money you paid for your guaranteed healthcare is going to a massive new government program that's not for you. The Romney-Ryan plan protects Medicare benefits for today's seniors and strengthens the plan for the next generation."

The Romney campaign says the new 30-second spot will start running on Wednesday and describes the ad buy as "significant."

The charge by the Romney campaign is part of their coordinated response to Democratic attacks on Ryan's controversial proposals to alter Medicare. The House Budget chairman's plans call for a partial privatization of the government's national insurance program for seniors, but only for those under age 55.

Minutes after Romney named Ryan as his running mate on Saturday morning, the Obama campaign and fellow Democrats instantly attacked Ryan over his budget, terming it a "radical plan" that would benefit the rich at the detriment to the middle class, and they highlighted his proposals to alter Medicare, which they said would "end Medicare as we know it."

The Romney campaign and its surrogates quickly responded, and both sides are continuing their attacks.

"When he ran for office he said he'd protect Medicare, but did you know that he has taken $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund – he's raided that trust fund – and you know what he did with it? He's used it to pay for Obamacare – a risky, unproven, federal government takeover of healthcare – and if I'm president of the United States we're putting the $716 billion back," said Romney Tuesday at a campaign event in Ohio.

The strategy is simple: Accuse the president of robbing a popular program (Medicare) to pay for a program (The Affordable Care Act) where support is divided among the public. A Romney campaign official says "the message here is that we are on offense on Medicare. This is a debate we invite."

The Romney campaign is getting the $717 billion figure from a July 24 Congressional Budget Office report, which measured the impact of repealing the health care overhaul law, which is known by many as "Obamacare."

The report says that under the repeal measure, "Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013-2022 period." Those spending increases would be a result of more spending on hospital and medical insurance, offset by a decrease in prescription drug coverage.

The letter also notes that the projected $716 billion increase in Medicare spending if the measure is repealed does not signal a $716 billion decrease if the measure stays in place - which is Romney's argument.

The Obama campaign says the Romney claim is wrong.

"The president took away subsidies, unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies, and he used that money to help lengthen the life of Medicare by nearly a decade. So when Gov. Romney says he doesn't support that, obviously, you know, that's problematical," senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" Tuesday.

And minutes after the Romney campaign's announcement of the ad, the Obama campaign was quick to respond.

"Mitt Romney's ad is dishonest and hypocritical. The savings his ad attacks do not cut a single guaranteed Medicare benefit, and Mitt Romney embraced the very samesavings when he promised he'd sign Paul Ryan's budget," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.

CNN'S Peter Hamby, Kevin Liptak and Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report

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Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Medicare
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    Here is the info since Robmey announced Ryan as his running mate.
    Robmey had barely walked off stage after announcing he'd picked Paul Ryan when his campaign said Robmey would not be running on the Ryan plan.
    In an interview with 60 Minutes, Robmey said the election wouldn't be a referendum on the Ryan plan and that his plan wasn't the Ryan plan.
    On Monday morning, Robmey avoided talking about either his plan or the Ryan plan, instead attacking Obama for achieving $700 billion in Medicare savings ... even though Ryan supports those savings.
    On Monday afternoon, Mitt Robmey claimed the Robmey-Ryan plan would expand Medicare, even though it would actually end it.
    At the same press conference, Robmey said he couldn't think of any differences between his plan and Ryan's plan.
    On Tuesday Morning, Robmey surrogate John Sununu claimed the Ryan and Robmey plans were "very different."
    Two hours later, a senior Robmey adviser said Ryan and Robmey were "100 percent on the same path" on Medicare.
    Will we ever know what Robmey means or his plans, EVER?

    August 14, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Lionel

    More negative ads from the Republicans. When will you ever tell people the truth.

    The fact is that Robme and Lyan Ryan wants to give more tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires while throwing grandma and grandpa over the cliff.

    The American people are not going to be fooled by Republican lies.

    August 14, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    If the Medicare voucher program is such a good idea, why are they waiting a decade to implement it?

    BTW, the ACA moves money from Medicare because it is anticipated that the number of people enrolling will drop significantly. The reason we have Medicare is because health insurers have capriciously dropped people when they turn age 65. The money "taken" from Medicare will be used to provide funding for those who do not have coverage. In other words, the age limit of Medicare has become moot. The money is still providing health care.

    Meanwhile, the Romney/Ryan plan removes just as many dollars from Medicare and uses it fund a tax cut for the wealthy. It is used to fund the various extreme policies, i.e., eliminating all capital gains taxes, which would mean Romney could pay nearly 0% in federal income taxes. That is not called paying your fair share.

    August 14, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Could one of you right wingnuts take Mittens aside and explain this to him? He is clueless. For what it is worth, Ryan's plan not only takes the ACA savings, but cuts an additional $500 billion. Of course, only thew poor will notice.

    August 14, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens is still a lying pile of Romney.

    August 14, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. California

    Obama has already ROBBED Medicare $700 Billion and democrats are stupid enough to ignore that fact.

    Enough said.

    August 14, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    No wonder he's dances around like that in his clown shoes....his freekin' pants are on fire.

    This is probably the single most disgusting attack of the election so far. Ryan's Pathology of Plutocracy cuts almost the exact same amount from Medicare, but does so in a different and far more damaging way. In the ACA, it's taken primarily from hospital reimbursement rates and future revenues. As a result, it has a very low chance of affecting access to services for the elderly and disabled. In the CouponCare Crapshoot, the same amount is cut by issuing vouchers...i.e., by directly cutting from the benefits received. As a result, the effect is an immediate and direct decrease in the accessibility of health care services. Mittens wholeheartedly threw his support behind Ryan's Pathology of Plutocracy budget and is only now trying to tapdance away from it because it's so blatantly damaging to him...and he's obviously trying to cover his footprints by throwing up a giant distraction of a lie.

    Sure, the intended costs savings from the adjustment of Medicare reimbursement rates in the ACA were intended to help pay for the ACA. Know what the direct cuts to benefits via the vouchers in the CouponCare Crapshoot are intended to pay for? TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY.

    August 14, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens lies like a Persian Rug on a rich man's floor.

    August 14, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Ready

    Hey Cali girl, sticks and stones may break Romney's bones, but you need to lay off the medical mary jane!! HA What a bunch of incoherent dribble!

    August 14, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Milton K. Wiah

    You elect Romney. The first day in office he will declare war on Cuba and after he will say he was just talking about
    vising the Island and not war. This man has no position on anything. Very risky to be president.

    August 14, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Darryl

    This will come up during the Big Debate W/ Candi Crowley. President Obama will tell the american people exactly what he did. He will also say what the Ryan Plan does too. Pres. Obama has both Romney & Ryan on this issue hands down.

    August 14, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Mark my words: this hypocritical lie wil backfire gloriously in Mittens face.

    August 14, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    I don't know, TeamRomney. I think now that Ryan is on the ticket this is a lost message.

    "You paid in to Medicare for years. Every paycheck. Now, when you need it Obama has cut $716 billion dollars from Medicare" scare tactic cuts both ways.

    So, too, would the same amount be cut referencing the Ryan plan. Only difference is how it is collected. Obama's cuts are NOT coming from "we the little old people".

    Ryan's cuts definitely will be. He insisted on nothing less.

    August 14, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    California – There are not any facts to support your position.

    August 14, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. cali girl

    Ready, why don't you pay attention to all of the news agencies to post what Robmey says and does. 60 minutes is not reporting dribble. And don't ever accuse anyone of being on Mary Jane when their posts have many facts to prove it.

    August 14, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Obama has already ROBBED Medicare $700 Billion and democrats are stupid enough to ignore that fact."

    Those provisions haven't taken full affect yet. Moreover, Obama has done more than the past 5 Presidents to curb Medicare fraud, which has also created huge savings. The only people ignoring things are the GOPers/Teatrolls who come here to sell their baseless, missinformation talking points like right wing extremist parrots with tourrettes.

    August 14, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. TM

    Nice try Willard but you either ignored, or deliberately lied about 2 critical facts: 1. The "cuts" to Mediacare made by the President were through removing wasteful spending within the Medicare reimbursement process, and the savings were used to INCREASE coverage to more Americans. 2. Ryan's proposed plan makes EXACTLY THE SAME amount of cuts to Medicare, but uses those funds to provide BIGGER tax breaks to the already wealthy. You know, people like YOU.

    August 14, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Iamnotfooled

    The Romney campaign is getting the $717 billion figure from a July 24 Congressional Budget Office report, which measured the impact of repealing the health care overhaul law, which is known by many as "Obamacare."

    Key word being REPEAL. Another Republican LIE.

    August 14, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. rs

    The GOP can try that linkage, but they know its a lie-something they seem less bothered by each passing day. Those cuts are not from benefits, and they are precisely the same cuts that lie in the Ryan Plan. The problem is that the ultimate goal for Medicare as Ryan outlines it is far, far worse for the elderly and poor. A voucher gives cash to insurers, and leaves the recipiant twisting in the wind as all of the protections of the ACA will be stripped away (A promise from Mr. Romney).

    A politician and a party so willing to lie to win deserves to not be elected to office.

    August 14, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Nan

    I can hardly stomach reading about this pandering liar Romney now and we have yet 3 more months of endless BS ads to fast forward through!

    August 14, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. John

    Obama the socliast is already destroying USA- What more lies will come out of that buffon- problem is mainstream media still drinking that 2008 Obaam Jim Jones Kool Aid.

    August 14, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. GaryB

    The $700B cost savings in Medicare is projected to come about due to the steps that Obama has taken to ferret out and proseucte fraudulent billing and waste. So does this mean that Reblicans like Mitt Romney are pro-fraud and waste?

    August 14, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. tee27

    Well we all know this is a fact and it`s in the bill and the courts looked at it and said it was ok to pass, The president took away subsidies, unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies, and he used that money to help lengthen the life of Medicare by nearly a decade. So once again the GOP and Mitt are Lying.

    August 14, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. CAPAM

    No word about Obamacare taxing people and penaties that will be imposed-In USA, it pays to be an illgeal in the Welfare of USA with free medicalcare, free education where as, as a citizen, I pay for my coverage, taxes and education.

    August 14, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. REPUBLICAN ARE THE GREATEST

    November 7th headlines -Mitt Romney Defeats Barack Obama in a Landslde Victory. Socialism is Dead, Obamacare is Dead. Capitalism is back.

    August 14, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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