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Obama Medicare Ad Ruffles AARP's Feathers Obama Medicare Ad Ruffles AARP's Feathers

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Influence

Obama Medicare Ad Ruffles AARP's Feathers

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The national headquarters of the AARP is seen Friday, Nov. 28, 2003, in Washington. In 45 years, AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, has grown from a program founded to insure retired teachers to a more than $636 million-a-year empire that pays its chief executive a half-million-dollar salary and lends its name to things such as pharmacy services and Medicare supplemental insurance, and discounts for hotel rooms, cars, shopping and cruises.((AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The Obama campaign's new ad attacking Medicare changes proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has left the AARP none too pleased.

The ad
quotes the non-partisan group to both attack Ryan's plan and support Obama's health care law. But it doesn't seem anyone asked AARP for its blessing.

The group's senior vice president, John Hishta, said in a statement on Friday that AARP was unaware of the ad and didn't have any involvement with its creation, while also reminding the public that the  group doesn't endorse candidates.

"The next president and Congress will decide the future of Medicare, and the candidates owe voters straight talk -- not just 30-second ads -- about what their plans will mean for today's seniors and future retirees," Hishta said, adding that "for the last 26 years, we've been providing voters with balanced information, without all the political jargon and spin, so they can make their own decisions on Election Day."

Bam!

The Obama ad states that "the nonpartisan AARP says that Obamacare 'cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse' and 'strengthens guaranteed benefits.' And the Ryan plan? AARP says it 'would undermine the market power of Medicare and could lead to higher costs for seniors.'"

Earlier this year, AARP launched a campaign to generate a national conversation around Medicare, which will include bus tour stops at the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention, and presidential debate sites.

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