(CNN) – The group charged with electing Democrats to the House of Representatives released their first ad hitting a Republican for supporting Paul Ryan's budget plan Thursday, less than a week after the House Budget chairman was named as Mitt Romney's running mate.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released the spot hitting Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Michigan, as their first independent expenditure ad of the 2012 cycle.
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"On Medicare, Congressman Benishek's gone fishing - and he's got a whopper," a narrator says in the spot.
He continues, "Benishek's voted to essentially end Medicare. Forcing seniors to pay over six thousand more a year. Congressman Benishek's fishing in troubled waters."
Benishek, a first term Republican, won his seat in the House with 52% of the vote in 2010. He faces Gary McDowell, a former Democratic state representative, in November's election. The Cook Political Report rates the race a "toss up."
Ryan's Budget proposals include the provision that government-approved private insurers would one day compete with traditional Medicare on an exchange. Ryan stipulates that the proposal would not affect Americans over age 55 who are currently enrolled in Medicare. The plan's opponents say that would increase the financial burden on senior citizens.
On his website, Romney says Ryan's Medicare proposal "almost precisely mirrors Mitt's ideas," which include repackaging Medicare spending "as a fixed-amount benefit to each senior that he or she can use to purchase an insurance plan."
The battle over Medicare has played a major role on the presidential campaign trail this week, with Romney's campaign releasing a television ad accusing President Barack Obama of cutting spending on Medicare and the Democrats hitting back that Romney and Ryan's plan would make seniors pay more for health benefits.
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