Political rhetoric between President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney's campaigns has become increasingly nasty in recent weeks, with both sides accusing the other of policies that endanger the American people.
But on Saturday, the rhetoric made a curious turn as both candidates accused the other of the same vice - making irresponsible budget cuts that would hurt America's middle class and poor.
Although the cuts each campaign accused the other of carrying out - or planning to carry out - effected different areas of the federal budget, the message from both was clear: this man's cuts will affect YOU.
The president focused his criticism of Romney and running mate Paul Ryan on what he calls the two politicians' "calls for trillions in budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy."
"The centerpiece of my opponent's entire economic plan is a new, $5 trillion tax cut, a lot of it going to the wealthiest Americans. And his new running mate, Congressman Ryan, put forward a plan that would let Governor Romney pay less than 1% in taxes each year," the president is planning on saying during campaign stops in New Hampshire today, according to pre-released speech excerpts.
"Here's the kicker: he expects you to pick up the tab. Governor Romney's tax plan would actually raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000," he will add in his stops in Windham and Rochester.
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign also blasted the president on what it characterizes as improper cuts, this time to Medicare. In its first ever podcast, the campaign of the former Massachusetts governor accused Obama of cutting Medicare to fund the Affordable Care Act.
"President Obama's healthcare law raided $716 billion from the Medicare trust fund. And he did that to finance his takeover of the healthcare system," Mitt Romney said in the Saturday podcast. The remarks also offered the most detailed plan to date of how the Republican ticket would tackle health care in America.
Younger Americans, Romney said, would be offered a choice between a list of Medicare-approved coverage plans and a traditional Medicare option while making "no changes to Medicare for those that are retired or near retirement."
In the future, Romney added, Medicare support would be based on need, with poorer Americans receiving more funding while "less help would go to those that are financially better off."
Meanwhile, Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams specifically criticized Obama's Saturday New Hampshire stops, saying, "Three years ago, President Obama promised New Hampshire seniors that Obamacare wouldn't impact their Medicare benefits - but that's exactly what it did."
"Because of President Obama's $716 billion in Medicare cuts, today's seniors will face increasing costs and fewer benefits. As president, Mitt Romney will restore Medicare funding for today's seniors and strengthen the program for future retirees."
Running mate Paul Ryan piggybacked on these remarks Saturday, when he told an aging Florida crowd how his grandmother depends on Medicare and how he would never cut her - or other's - benefits. "Medicare should not be used as a piggy bank for Obamacare," Ryan added.
The Medicare/Social Security issue is a touchy one in the U.S., where over two-thirds of Americans believe a crisis will be set off by the draining of the funds in as little as ten years, according to a May Gallup poll.
However, government action is not the answer to this problem, many agree. According to an April Gallup poll, 27 percent of Americans said they prefer no change to Medicare policy while another 34 percent support only minor changes.
by RTT Staff Writer
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