Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mitt Romney's newly selected vice presidential running mate, on Tuesday night struggled to explain why his budget, which has been embraced by both Romney and the GOP, sustains the same Medicare cuts of which his campaign is now attacking President Obama.
"Doesn't your budget also cut Medicare for the same amount?" Fox News' Brit Hume asked in an evening interview.
"Only President Obama raids $716 billion from the Medicare program," Ryan responded. "He cut $716 billion from the Medicare program to pay for Obamacare. We don't do that."
"You're not saying you don't contemplate in the budget planning significant savings of $500 billion in Medicare, though, are you?" pressed Hume.
"No. We can get in the complicated baseline issues but that is the current law," Ryan returned. "So what we do is we keep with the current law in our budget."
"But it's the case that in the budget you passed through the House of Representatives, significant savings of upward of $500 million in Medicare," Hume continued.
"We do not add cuts to the Medicare program in the House budget," Ryan said. "We have don't take more cuts to Medicare. We simply prevent the raid of Medicare so those dollars go to set up the life of Medicare."
The exchange comes after the Romney campaign debuted a new ad today implying that seniors would take a hit with the Affordable Care Act reforms to Medicare. In fact, those reforms would expand benefits for seniors and lower out-of-pocket costs.
Ryan’s Medicare plan would replace the current program with a voucher system for seniors to buy their own private or government insurance plan.