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From 'very different' to 'identical' in 24 hours

If you watched Tuesday night's show, you saw Rachel explain that Mitt Romney's position on Paul Ryan's Medicare privatization scheme hasn't exactly been consistent.

In May 2011, he was against the Ryan plan to end Medicare. Six months later, he was for it. More recently, on Monday, Romney said his plan for Medicare is "very similar" to Ryan's proposal, but on Tuesday, the Romney campaign said the plans are "very different."

And 24 hours after the Romney campaign said the two policies are "very different," Romney told a reporter in Green Bay, Wisconsin the opposite again.

For those who can't watch clips online, the WBAY reporter asked, "Your senior campaign advisor said Sunday if the Ryan budget would have come to your desk you would have signed it. In a January debate you called it a proposal that was absolutely right on. So I guess, why now are you distancing yourself from at least the Medicare portion of the Ryan budget?"

Romney replied, "Actually Paul Ryan and my plan for Medicare I think is the same -- if not identical it's probably close to identical."

Romney and his aides had two weeks to decide what their position is on this issue. They knew the questions were coming, they knew the American mainstream hates the Ryan plan to end Medicare; and they knew voters would be expecting at least some coherence.

But the contradictions persist, in part because the right hand doesn't know what the further-right hand is doing: "Some [Romney] advisers have gone on television to say publicly that he wholly and enthusiastically endorsed Ryan's budget proposals and would, if president, have signed it. Others have sought to distance him from it."

As of last night, Romney still wants to destroy the existing Medicare guarantee, replacing it with a voucher system that force seniors to either ration care, pay thousands more, or both.

Update: By Jed Lewison's count, Team Romney has taken six competing positions on the Ryan Medicare plan this week.