(Newsroom America) -- Paul Ryan made a campaign stop in central Florida Saturday with his mother, saying he and Mitt Romney will, if elected to the White House, protect Medicare, trading barbs with President Obama who countered that their plan would raise costs for seniors.
Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin who was selected last week to be Romney's running mate, made his case at The Villages, a sprawling retirement community where he took to the state with his mother, Betty Douglas Ryan.
"We will preserve and protect your benefits," Ryan told the crowd, adding the Romney/Ryan plan ""does not affect those in or near retirement," reports said.
The House Budget Committee chairman who is known for his fiscal conservatism said the plan backed by him and Romney won't affect anyone aged 55 and older. For those younger than 55, they will be give the option of choosing to remain in the traditional plan or pick a private-sector option.
Ryan took direct aim at Obama, accusing him taking $716 billion from Medicare to fund his healthcare reform law.
"Medicare will not be used as a piggy bank for ObamaCare," Ryan told supporters.
Minutes later, the Obama re-election campaign accused Ryan of failing to "tell the truth" about the Republicans' plan. That accusation was followed by Obama himself, who said the Romney/Ryan plan would raise premiums for seniors by $6,400 a year.
"Their plan makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires," Obama told a crowd of about 2,000 people at the Windham High School in Windham, N.H.
Obama also said he has already saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in reduced Medicare fraud and by saving them hundreds a year in prescription medication costs.
Ryan said his ticket's plan has the support of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and said it was rooted in a 1996 Clinton-era plan.
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