CHESAPEAKE, Va. – The Romney campaign released a television ad on Wednesday that uses new debate clips to argue that President Obama put Medicare and Social Security at risk and that his economic policies haven’t worked.
The new ad, called "The Choice," highlights the Republican nominee’s comments on high unemployment, falling median income, and the deficit during Tuesday night’s debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. Romney said the numbers show that Obama’s record has been one of failure, particularly for the middle class.
“And that record shows he just hasn't been able to cut the deficit, to put in place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them, to get us the rising incomes we need,” Romney is shown saying in the ad, while text flashes on the screen saying “Under President Obama: Medicare And Social Security At Risk.”
The two entitlement programs have become fodder for competing claims by each campaign as to who will better protect them. The president criticized Romney for wanting to “[turn] Medicare into a voucher” during Tuesday’s debate, while Romney continues to accuse Obama of taking $716 billion from Medicare to pay for his health care legislation.
Mr. Obama said in the first presidential debate that he suspected that on Social Security, “we've got a somewhat similar position” — a statement that drew ire from his liberal base. The president has offered few specifics, though he did suggest at a recent AARP forum that he would consider raising payroll taxes on high-end earners to keep the program solvent longer.
Romney has not talked about Social Security much on the campaign trail, either, but he wrote in his book No Apology that he would support changing the program’s payment structure. And in last week’s vice presidential debate, Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan said the GOP ticket would “slowly raise the retirement age over time” to keep the program solvent.
The Obama campaign responded by calling Romney’s latest ad a reminder of his “poor performance” in the Tuesday debate. “Americans don’t trust Mitt Romney on Medicare and Social Security — he’d turn Medicare into a voucher program and could cut Social Security benefits for future retirees," Obama for America spokesman Danny Kanner said in a statement to reporters.