After making hay of Mitt Romney's alleged opposition to Big Bird, President Barack Obama's reelection campaign returned to more serious issues Tuesday afternoon with the release of a new television ad void of any Sesame Street favorites and instead attacking Mitt Romney on proposing cuts to Medicaid.
The ad, titled "Only Choice," highlights both Romney's record on Medicaid as governor of Massachusetts, as well as how the Medicaid cuts contained in the budget plan of Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would affect the program immediately.
"For many middle-class families, Medicaid is the only way to afford the care," the narrator says. "But as a governor, Mitt Romney raised nursing home fees eight times. And as president, his budget cuts Medicaid by one-third and burdens families with the cost of nursing-home care."
Although Romney initially embraced the Ryan budget, in recent months he has stated it is not the plan he would sign into law as president. Under the plan so far detailed by the GOP nominee, similar to Ryan's plan, Medicaid would be a block grant program. This entails states receiving lump-sum checks in order to cover their beneficiaries. Romney's approach is designed to grant states more flexibility to set eligibility standards.
The new spot will air in swing states New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.
Amanda Henneberg, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, issued the following response to the ad:
By giving states greater flexibility and the incentive to provide coverage more efficiently, Governor Romney will ensure that low-income Americans receive the care they need while also bringing federal spending back under control.
UPDATE: 4:40 p.m. -- The Obama campaign also released a Medicare-centric ad on Tuesday, which will air in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.
The spot, called "Earned," resurrects Romney's now infamous "47 percent" comments to tie Medicare beneficiaries into the former Massachusetts governor's characterization of almost half the nation as government-dependent "victims." It also attacks the Romney-Ryan plan to transform Medicare into a voucher-like system.
Watch the ad here: