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Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Ad From Democrats Attacks Michigan Lawmaker on Medicare


Medicare is the ammunition, and a Michigan congressman is the target of the latest ad released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The television ad, assailing Representative Dan Benishek of Michigan, is the first released by the committee during the general election.

“Benishek's voted to essentially end Medicare, forcing seniors to pay over $6,000 more a year,” the ad's narrator says, referring indirectly to an estimate, released by the Congressional Budget Office, of the effects of Representative Paul D. Ryan's budget proposal.

Mr. Benishek is expected to face a tight race against State Representative Gary McDowell, whom Mr. Benishek defeated by 11 points for the same seat in 2010.

The attack ad represents part of a larger strategy by Democrats to make a prominent issue of Medicare, which they perceive as a major political weakness of Mr. Ryan's budget plan . That tack has already extended to some Congressional races, including ones in Montana and Florida.

Republicans, for their part, have so far responded publicly with defiance. In Ohio on Wednesday, just days after Mitt Romney announced Mr. Ryan as his running mate, Mr. Ryan told a crowd of supporters: “We want this debate. We need this debate. And we will win this debate.”

In private, however, some Republican strategists have expressed concern that the attack could prove effective.

Mr. Ryan's budget plan would cut the same amount of money from Medicare, more than $700 billion, as does President Obama's health care reform law.