Democrats followed through on a pledge Monday to peg presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney to the budget plan advanced by his running mate Paul Ryan, releasing web video calling the House Budget chairman's proposals to change Medicare an assault on the middle class.
President Barack Obama's campaign released a spot focusing on Florida residents, who say in the video that Ryan's proposed voucher system for Medicare would amount to ending the health care system designed for senior citizens. Romney campaigns in Florida on Monday while Ryan attends the Iowa State Fair.
"I heard that there were cuts across the board on social programs," one woman says in the spot.
"Medicare is going to be a boon for senior citizens who would otherwise choose between food and going to the doctor," says another.
Ryan's proposals, first introduced in 2011, include the provision that Medicare-approved private insurers would one day compete with traditional Medicare on an exchange. The proposal would not affect Americans over age 55. The plan's opponents say that would increase the financial burden on senior citizens.
Ryan, a seven-term congressman from Wisconsin, said Sunday the intention of his plan is to remake Medicare so that it remains financially soluble for future generations.
"My mom is a Medicare senior in Florida," he said on CBS. "Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because government made promises to them that they've organized their retirements around."
"In order to make sure we can do that, you must reform it for those of us who are younger," he continued. "And we think these reforms are good reforms that have bipartisan origins."
On Sunday, Romney campaign aide Brendan Buck said Ryan would campaign in central Florida next weekend, a rebuff to critics who said the vice presidential candidate was skipping Romney's stops in Florida this week to avoid questions about his Medicare proposals from senior citizens there.
All the same, Romney surrogates on Sunday were quick to point out that Romney's name was at the top of the GOP ticket, and that he would advance his own economic proposals if elected president.
"It is the Romney-Ryan ticket, and as president, Romney will be putting forth his own budget," Senior Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Democrats, however, have been eager include Romney when discussing Ryan's budget plan.
"I don't think it's a solid message at all. Especially for independents and obviously seniors in Florida," Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee that Ryan chairs, said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien"
"The Ryan plan, the Romney plan, simply transfers the growing risks and costs on to seniors and in the process, it gives seniors a much worse deal on health care than members of Congress have. So you're going to be saying to folks on Medicare, 'members of Congress get a lot more health care security in the plan they have than we're going to give to seniors on Medicare."