Obama, Romney Exchange Barbs On Medicare, Abortion

The former Massachusetts governor, responding to charges of a GOP "war on women," says his state health overhaul provided health care for "all women and men." The president, meanwhile, fights back against charges that he is taking money out of Medicare by asserting he wants to strengthen and preverve the program. Both campaigns also debut new ads on Medicare.

Politico: Romney 'Very Proud' Of Mass. Health Care Law
Mitt Romney is embracing his Massachusetts health care law in response to President Barack Obama's attacks that Republicans have declared a 'war on women.' "I'm the guy who was able to get all the health care for all the women and men for my state," Romney said in an interview aired on 'Fox News Sunday.' "They were talking about it at the federal level. We actually did something and we did it without cutting Medicare and without raising taxes." Romney added that he was "very proud" of his signature on the 2006 law when he was governor of Massachusetts (Samuelsohn, 8/26).

The Hill: Romney Cites Mass. Law To Defend Stance On Women’s Health Issues
Mitt Romney rebuffed Democratic suggestions that the GOP ticket was weak on women's health issues by touting his Massachusetts healthcare reforms, in an interview with Fox News. In an interview taped last week and aired on Fox News Sunday, Romney was asked by host Chris Wallace how he answered "the Obama charge that they offer more support, more choice to women when it comes to abortion, rape, or birth control or women’s health." "In regards to women’s healthcare, look I’m the guy who was able to get healthcare for all the women and men in my state," said Romney. "They're just talking about at the federal level, we actually did something and we did it without cutting Medicare and without raising taxes" (Mali, 8/26).

Associated Press: AP Interview: Obama On Romney's 'Extreme' Views
(President Barack) Obama alluded to the provocative issue of abortion, suddenly thrust to the fore this week when Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin said the female body has a way to "shut that whole thing down" when a woman is the victim of "legitimate rape." The Republican platform in Tampa calls for a ban on abortion with no specific exceptions for rape or other circumstances. Obama predicted that a President Romney would not "stand in the way" if Congress gave him a bill that stripped away women's control over their reproductive health. Romney is on record, however, as not opposing abortion in cases of rape and incest or if it will save the mother's life (Feller, 8/25).

The Hill: Romney TV Ad Uses Obama ’08 Remarks To Push Back On Medicare
Mitt Romney is pressing his attacks over President Obama’s changes to Medicare in a new ad which uses his Democratic opponent's own words from the 2008 campaign. The new television ad uses a clip of Obama hammering then GOP opponent Sen. John McCain for proposing reductions to Medicare spending (Mali, 8/26).

Politico: Obama's Second, Harder Medicare Attack
On the eve of the Republican National Convention in senior citizen-heavy Florida, the Obama campaign has unveiled another negative ad saying that a Romney-Ryan administration would represent "an end to the Medicare promise" (Burns, 8/25).

CBS News: Obama Promises To Protect Medicare From GOP
On a proclaimed mission to dispel "accusations and misinformation flying around" in a fight that's rapidly accelerated since Rep. Paul Ryan's appointment to the GOP presidential ticket, President Obama in his weekly address vowed to protect the Medicare benefits his Affordable Care Act promises seniors. Trumpeting news this week from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that under his health care law, 5.4 million seniors on Medicare have saved more than $4.1 billion on prescription drugs, the president laid out other successes of his program, including 18 million seniors who have taken advantage of preventive care benefits like cancer screenings (Boerma, 8/25). 

CNN: Obama, Sen. Paul Battle In Weekly Addresses
"As part of the Affordable Care Act, we gave seniors discounts on prescription drugs and made sure preventative care like mammograms are free without a co-pay," Obama said. He argued his impact on the program includes "getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system and reining in insurance companies -- reforms that won't touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits." But, he continued, "Republicans in Congress have put forward a very different plan. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program" (Wallace, 8/25).

Politico: President Obama On Offense Over Medicare
President Barack Obama went on the offense against Republican charges that he has cut Medicare in his weekly address released Saturday. "As president, my goal has been to strengthen these programs now, and preserve them for future generations," Obama said. "Today's seniors deserve that same peace of mind. And the millions of Americans who are working hard right now deserve to know that the care they need will be available when they need it” (Tau, 8/25).

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