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Top Romney Adviser Pitches Obama, Not Ryan, as Medicare Villain Top Romney Adviser Pitches Obama, Not Ryan, as Medicare Villain

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Top Romney Adviser Pitches Obama, Not Ryan, as Medicare Villain

Mitt Romney is ready with a counterattack to the charge that the budget plan offered by his new running mate would "end Medicare as we know it,'' as Democrats like to say. The GOP nominee has already been using it for months.

Over and over again, Romney has charged that "Obamacare cuts Medicare by $500 billion'' -- even though fact-checking media outlets have raised red flags about the accuracy of that claim.

"There's only one person is this race who is cutting Medicare by $500 billion and that's President Obama,'' said Stuart Stevens, a top Romney adviser. "That's a conversation we welcome, about who is endangering the fiscal solvency of the country and endangering Medicare.''

In a telephone interview with National Journal, Stevens repeatedly called Ryan "an optimist.'' That's a noteworthy description at a time when the race is widely viewed as overwhelmingly negative and even toxic. Looking for hope and change in 2012? Don't turn to Obama, who as Stevens put it, "has lost all credibility'' with his misleading attack ads. Campaign strategists like to say elections are about the future, and that's what Team Romney wants Ryan to personify.

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