President Obama was in Dubuque, Iowa, this afternoon, and took two minutes to address the subject of the week: Medicare.
For those who can't watch clips online, here's a transcript of Obama's remarks:
"I think [Republicans] know their plan's not very popular. You can tell that because they are being pretty dishonest about my plan. Especially, by the way, when it comes to Medicare. Now, this is something I've got to point out here because they are just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks.
"Here is what you need to know: I have strengthened Medicare. I have made reforms that have saved millions of seniors with Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescription drugs. I've proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system -- reforms that will not touch your Medicare benefits, not by a dime.
"Now, Mr. Romney and his running mate have a very different plan. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program. That means seniors would no longer have the guarantee of Medicare, they'd get a voucher to buy private insurance. And because the voucher wouldn't keep up with costs, the plan offered by Governor Romney's running mate, Congressman Ryan, would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year, and I assume they don't have it.
"My plan's already extended Medicare by nearly a decade. Their plan ends Medicare as we know it. My plan reduces the cost of Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and subsidies to insurance companies. Their plan makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires. That's the difference between our plans on Medicare, that's an example of the choice in this election, and that's why I am running for a second term as President of the United States of America."
Obama wasn't "angry and hateful"; he wasn't engaged in "personal attacks"; in fact he seemed almost amused by the whole story. The president simply set the record straight.
The contrast is rather amazing, when you think about. Mitt Romney can hardly deliver a sentence on Medicare without telling a blatant lie, but Obama's comments in Iowa today happened to be 100% accurate. The only thing he didn't mention is that Republicans have adopted the same Medicare savings Romney is now condemning.