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Montana Republicans: Ryan Plan 'Could Harm' Medicare

2:04 PM, Jun 22, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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A new ad from the Montana GOP focuses on Republican Senate candidate Denny Rehberg's record of independence from Washington and his own party, and includes a criticism of Paul Ryan's proposed Medicare reforms, which Rehberg voted against in the House.

"Rehberg refused to support a Republican budget plan that could harm the Medicare program so many of Montana's seniors rely on," the voiceover says, also highlighting Rehberg's opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the Wall Street bailouts. Watch the ad below:

A spokesman for the Rehberg campaign, Chris Bond, said the congressman would agree with the ad's claim that the Ryan reforms "could harm" Medicare and that Rehberg is against the "process" by which the reforms were crafted and voted on.

"Any substantive changes to Medicare deserve an open discussion with seniors," Bond said, saying the Ryan reforms, which passed the House in 2011 with the support of 235 Republicans, were a "top down" approach rather than a "grassroots, bottom up" approach, the latter of which Bond says Rehberg would prefer.

Rehberg is facing incumbent Democrat Jon Tester in November. Rasmussen Reports have shown Rehberg with a slight lead over the last several months, but one poll in May saw Rehberg jump ahead to a 10-point advantage. The most recent from Rasmussen, released earlier this month, showed Rehberg back to only a 2-point margin over Tester. The seat is one of the GOP's highest priorities in the party's race to gain control of the Senate.

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