WARREN, Ohio—Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan moved to explain why the federal budget plan he proposed as House Budget Committee chairman included more than $700 billion in cuts to Medicare Thursday, arguing that he was using President Barack Obama's baseline that already included those cuts when crafting the budget.
Since the Medicare cuts were part of Obama's health care law, Republicans included that projected spending in their proposal, Ryan said. He justified it by pointing out that the House later voted to repeal the health care law, which would have stripped out those cuts, and said that Republicans never proposed them.
"First of all, those are in the baseline, he put those cuts in," Ryan said, referring to Obama. "Second of all, we voted to repeal Obamacare repeatedly, including those cuts. I voted that way before the budget, I voted that way after the budget. So when you repeal all of Obamacare what you end up doing is that repeals that as well."
"In our budget we've restored a lot of that," Ryan continued. "It gets a little wonky but it was already in the baseline. We would never have done it in the first place. We voted to repeal the whole bill. I just don't think the president's going to be able to get out of the fact that he took $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare."
Both Mitt Romney and Ryan have criticized the president for using Medicare funds to pay for the health care law. Democrats have responded by pointing out that Ryan included those cuts in his own budget.
"When we voted to repeal Obamacare we voted to repeal all of it," Ryan said.