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Obama campaign defends Medicare record in new TV ad

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

(CBS News) Amid ongoing debate over Medicare, President Obama's campaign is defending his record on the issue in a new campaign ad, which touts the administration's commitment to eliminating fraud and improving benefits, while blasting Mitt Romney's running mate's proposal as one that would cost seniors thousands of dollars.

The 30-second spot, called "Facts," quotes AARP, formally the American Association of Retired Persons, pumping up the president's health care law as a plan that "cracks down on Medicare fraud waste and abuse, and strengthens guaranteed benefits," while dismissing Rep. Paul Ryan's plan as one that "would undermine Medicare and could lead to higher costs for seniors."

"And experts say Ryan's voucher plan could raise future retirees' costs more than $6,000," the ad's narrator intones. "Get the facts."

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According to the campaign, the ad will run on television in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.


In the days since announcing Ryan as the Republican vice presidential pick, the Romney campaign has made an aggressive attempt get out in front on the Medicare issue, hammering Mr. Obama for allegedly having "robbed" the entitlement program to fund the Affordable Care Act, and even setting up a whiteboard lessonto explain the differences between the president's plan and Romney's. 

The Obama campaign is rebutting that message, accusing the former Massachusetts governor of getting "his facts wrong" - and releasing a "whiteboard" of its own "to set the record straight."

"It makes sense that Romney wouldn't want to tell the truth: the Romney-Ryan budget eliminates the guarantee of Medicare and instead provides people with a voucher to buy health care," said the Obama campaign in a Thursday press release. "In fact, a voucher plan authored by Paul Ryan and endorsed by Romney would cost future retirees an additional $6,400."

Update: AARP senior vice president John Hishta Friday afternoon issued a statement distancing his organization from the Obama campaign's ad.

"The next president and Congress will decide the future of Medicare, and the candidates owe voters straight talk - not just 30-second ads - about what their plans will mean for today's seniors and future retirees," he said. "We were not aware of nor have any involvement with this campaign ad. AARP is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates."