But the congressman steered clear about talking about Medicare — a key issue for elderly Florida voters. Ryan only mentioned Medicare twice, towards the end of his 10-minute speech, accusing Obama of cutting Medicare to pay for the president’s new healthcare law.
“We reject the fact that the president is compromising Medicare to pay for Obamacare,” Ryan said.
That statement is not quite accurate. The new healthcare law did not cut funding from Medicare’s budget but instituted changes to bring down future program costs.
Ryan has supposed revamping Medicare to provide a voucher-like option for future seniors to choose between a traditional Medicare plan or a private plan. Those 55 and older would keep receiving traditional Medicare benefits.
Ryan didn’t take questions from the news media after the event, but Bush told reporters that he’s not worried about the Republican ticket’s Medicare plans hurting Romney’s chances.
“I feel good,” Bush said. “I think Romney’s going to carry Florida.”
In Orlando, Ryan held a “Victory Town Hall” at the University of Central Florida late Saturday afternoon.
He criticized the Obama administration’s requirement that hospitals and universities, including Catholic ones, be required to offer contraception. He described it as an “assault on religious liberty.”
Ryan said Romney would reverse that decision if elected president.
The issue came up when a woman in the audience asked if Ryan would ask Vice President Joe Biden in their debate next month how he reconciles his views as a Catholic with the Democratic Party platform.
Ryan also condemned the Obama administration’s space program in central Florida, where thousands of jobs have been lost.
The Obama campaign quickly pounced on Ryan’s remarks, releasing a statement saying that Ryan had repeatedly voted against NASA funding and that the Romney-Ryan budget plan would cut funding for space exploration programs. They also accused Romney of “pandering to Florida voters by making empty promises about space.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.