Romney campaign takes to airwaves with Medicare response
August 14th, 2012
03:04 PM ET
10 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)

    We are doing just fine in Canada. We had a party (Liberal ) like your republican party which was ruining our country but we the 99% took our country back. Unless you are rich or timid STAND UP AND TAKE YOU COUNTRY BACK.

    August 14, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Wes B.

    These lies are horrendous! It's a typical strategy that's been used before: Take a weak spot in your campaign and then lie about the other guy to make it seem like you have a strong point. (It's called swiftboating.)

    Although it is complex, basically the Obama plan OFFSETS cuts in one area by implementing savings in another area. So to say he's simply cutting millions from Medicare is beyond misleading.

    The fact is Ryan's plan wants to COMPLETELY overhaul the way Medicare works. He wants to give vouchers to seniors, instead of Medicare. So if the voucher is for $5,000, but you have $10,000 worth or medical procedures...guess what? You're going to have to pay the difference under Ryan's plan.

    Inform yourselves! This is important stuff.

    August 14, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Eddie The Barber

    You know – it's a total flat out like that Obama cut $700 Billion from Medicare, and a few weeks ago they were tossing $500 Billion around so now they've increased it (what's a few billion among republicans?). That money is being redirected into the Afordable Care Act (sometimes known as Obama Care) over a 10 year period and is destined to continue to pay for senior care. It has not been cut – and if it was – why don't they tell us where it went (I assume they'll say that Obama put it in his pocket). It's up to the press (here me CNN) to give the public an accurate summary of the truth here and I can tell you for sure – once again the republicans are not telling the truth.

    August 14, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. will never vote Republician again

    Romney and Ryan = Greed and Hate That's something to be proud of!

    August 14, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC


    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
    Kool-Aid sounds a lot healthier than whatever it is that you're drinking. Old No. 7?

    August 14, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Ready

    Obama has made the biggest cut to Medicare than any president. How's that for a fact.

    August 14, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota


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

    Romney quote: "If I told you what my plans are, you wouldn't vote for me."

    August 14, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. george of the jungle

    most people realize that this is just another untrue ad. Only repo idiots believe these lies . Milktoast lies so much that we no longer believe anything he says. Show us your tax returns mitt. Remember us people ann? Tell us why your money is kept overseas mitt. Don't have to pay taxes on that huh? Ryan has been on the government healthcare plan that we as tax payers pay fo for over 14 years. Does he know how much it cost to have a kid??? Forward.

    August 14, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Pete

    It's funny about this Romney plan,any plan if he has one which he doesn't.On CNN today his surrogates,one an exgovernor Sununu was asked what differences between the Romney and Ryan plans and he couldn't answer just blabbering about Obamacare and pretty much nothing else significant,just being ignorent.They then brought in an official Romney spokeswomen who stammered thru the whole interview diverting from the subject multiple times,even to the point where the interviewer was seen visibly agitated because she couldn't get a straight answer,nobody interviewed could tell the differences between the two.But that's the punch line,Romney doesn't have a plan,never has that's why he's got his Ayn Rand atheist diciple Ryan to bail his mormon leper butt out.Romneys clueless,he's entered a fight he has no idea what to do in,that's why he surrounded himself with brains at Bain because he really has none,just money,remember that's inherited too from daddy!!!Wait till the debates when he'll have to answer questions without hopefully cherry picking them out first,he'll be out there lost and no staffers to feed him info,he's done lousey on debates before ,remember the primaries then he didn't show up too happy on the others did he,the bully getting bullied,that'll be fun to watch!!

    August 14, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Another inaccurate "swift boating" shot at President Obama. The Medicare savings were payments to medical insurance service providers and drug companies.

    August 14, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Tony

    Of course, the Romney ad does not mention that Ryan's own budget plan includes basically the same cuts to Medicare.

    August 14, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Sandy


    Obama has made the biggest cut to Medicare than any president. How's that for a fact.

    Would be great if it was a fact, but it's not. The money taken from it was waste that was put back in the system for the citizens. Benefits were not cut AT ALL.

    August 14, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. anoel2005

    Stop the liberal lies.

    Obama is the one who took $700 billion out of Medicare and funneled it to Obamacare.

    August 14, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. myviewis


    We are doing just fine in Canada. We had a party (Liberal ) like your republican party which was ruining our country but we the 99% took our country back. Unless you are rich or timid STAND UP AND TAKE YOU COUNTRY BACK.

    How's your Head of State Queen Elizabeth doing????

    August 14, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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