Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom on Sunday said losing the fight over Medicare is "not a concern" for the Romney campaign, adding that he isn't at all worried that the House budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which proposes turning the program into a more market-based system, would be poorly received by seniors.
The comments come in the midst of a fierce political battle over Medicare, which has heated up considerably since Romney named Ryan as his running mate and showed no signs of subsiding on Sunday, with operatives from both sides of the political aisle claiming to have the upper hand.
"Actually, it is not a concern," Fehrnstrom told CNN's "State of the Union." "In fact, if you look at the last few days of the campaign, you will see that Paul Ryan was down in Florida, as you mentioned, with his mother, talking about the Romney-Ryan plan to strengthen and protect Medicare."
Further, Ferhnstrom said, any changes made to Medicare under a Romney-Ryan administration, would not affect current seniors. "This president cannot say the same," he said, "because he went in and raided Medicare to pay for Obamacare."
Ryan campaigned in Florida on Saturday with his mother, a Medicare recipient, by his side. “Like a lot of Americans, when I think about Medicare, it's not just a program, it's not just a bunch of numbers, it's what my mom relies on, it's what my grandma had,” Ryan told a crowd at The Villages, a large retirement community in the state.
Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager to President Barack Obama, pointed out the administration was attempting to rein in future spending and called it a "complete distortion" for Republicans to portray those efforts as raiding Medicare.
"They know that the $700 billion in savings had nothing to do with the senior benefits, but it expands the senior benefits," Cutter said on "State of the Union."
"If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get elected to the White House, Medicare will be bankrupt by the end of their first term is what that means, and these are facts," Cutter said.
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