Allentown Morning Call
In his second week on the national Republican ticket, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will visit both ends of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, including a rally in the Philadelphia suburbs crucial to Mitt Romney’s chances of winning statewide.
Ryan’s stop in West Chester follows a whirlwind week in battleground states introducing himself to voters, criticizing President Barack Obama and discussing his plan to overhaulMedicare, the popular federal health program for the elderly.
Republicans are celebrating new energy in their effort to unseat Obama. Democrats are pledging to make Ryan’s plans for Medicare and Social Security his albatross.
Ryan will hold a rally at the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester on Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, he’ll be outsidePittsburgh at a steel-supply company in Carnegie, Allegheny County.
Ryan is scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. at Beaver Steel Services and at 1:30 p.m. in West Chester. Both events are open to the public.
His visit to Pennsylvania, a state most political analysts have marked in the Obama column, is fresh off poll results from Franklin & Marshall College last week suggesting the race in the Democrat-leaning state could be tightening. However, Pennsylvania voters have not been surveyed since Romney selected Ryan as his running mate.
In Pennsylvania, a state with one of the nation’s highest elderly populations, Democrats will continue to hammer Ryan on his plan for Medicare that would shift to a voucher-like system, giving seniors the option of using a government subsidy to purchase private insurance or enroll in traditional Medicare.
“Pennsylvania will be anxious to hear how he defends his extreme budget plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher system and raise seniors’ health costs by up to $6,350 a year to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires,” Jen Austin, the Obama campaign’s state spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Last week Ryan defended his Medicare proposal at The Villages, a well-known, Republican-friendly retirement community in central Florida, Ryan stood in front of a campaign banner that read “Protect & Strengthen Medicare” and had by his side his 78-year-old mother, a part-time Florida resident.
He said Medicare isn’t just a program, it’s what his mom relies on.
“Medicare is there for my mom while she needs it now, and we have to keep that guarantee,” he said.