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Romney downplays differences with running mate

Mitt Romney refused to give specifics on any light between him and his new running mate on plans to balance the budget, instead calling the president’s failure to reign in spending “radical and extreme.”

During a press conference on the tarmac at Miami International Airport, Romney focused on areas where the two see eye-to-eye, like repealing the president’s health care overhaul.

“We want to get America on track to a balanced budget,” Romney told reporters. “It’s radical and extreme to pass on trillions of dollars of debts to our children knowing that we’re never going to pay back these obligations that we’ve taken on.” 

When pressed by reporters, the presumptive GOP nominee acknowledged differences with Paul Ryan’s plan, before saying, “The items that we agree on, I think, outweigh any differences there may be.”

“I can't imagine any two people even in the same party who have exactly the same positions on all issues,” he continued.

One gray area revolves around Medicare, the massive government run health care system for seniors, which is forecast to become insolvent without reforms. Ryan calls for Medicare to remain as-is for current retirees, but would privatize the system for future retirees, providing them with a voucher to shop around and purchase a plan on their own.

Romney said their plans are “very similar,” but he would allow future retirees the option of whether to keep traditional Medicare or participate in the new system.

“My plan, like his, really expands Medicare advantage,” Romney said. “It says let's give people more opportunity to take advantage of not just the standard Medicare but also the policies that are available on the marketplace.”

Medicare remains extremely popular among retirees, who tend to be skeptical about attempts to change the program. Democrats have accused Ryan of trying to dismantle the program, and have attempted to link Romney to Ryan’s plan, a potential pitfall in a state like Florida where seniors make up a sizable portion of the electorate. 

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