Eric Cantor ‘Can’t Speak To’ Why Romney Is Attacking Obama On Medicare

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) can’t — or won’t — say why Mitt Romney is attacking President Obama for Medicare provider cuts that Paul Ryan’s budget embraced.

In an interview with Fortune magazine published hours before Romney addressed the Republican convention Thursday, Cantor was asked about the inconsistency of the Romney campaign attacking Obama’s Medicare reimbursement cuts, which were included in his vice presidential nominee’s budget blueprint.

“The assumption was that, um, the, the, ah, again — I probably can’t speak to that in an exact way so I better just not,” Cantor said, as quoted by Fortune.Ryan — who has since reversed his position on the Medicare cuts — bashed Obama for enacting them in the Affordable Care Act during his Wednesday address. On Thursday night, Romney repeated the attack.

“His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today’s seniors, and depress innovation — and jobs — in medicine,” the Republican nominee told attendees at the Tampa, Fla. convention.

The savings are wrung by cutting Medicare payments to providers — primarily hospitals and private insurance companies — and don’t target benefits. They’re projected to extend the solvency of the program by eight years. Romney and Ryan pledge to restore the funds.

Cantor’s freeze-up underscores the risk facing the Romney campaign in continuing to level the attack, which fact-checkers and traditional journalists have taken the GOP to task for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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