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Ryan gets boos at AARP conference

 

NEW ORLEANS -- Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan received boos as he addressed the AARP convention here on Friday -- perhaps his most unfriendly welcome on the 2012 campaign trail.
 
Several members of the “Life@50+” Annual Convention crowd booed loudly as Ryan began remarks proclaiming, “Seniors are threatened by Obamacare.”
 
“The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare, because it represents the worst of both worlds,” Ryan went on as members continued to shout. “It weakens Medicare for today’s seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation. First, it funnels $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. Second, it puts 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of Medicare’s future.”
 
Throughout the Wisconsin congressman’s nearly 30-minute speech, he rarely received applause and instead heard people yell “You lie!” and “No!” to many of his claims of what he and his running mate, Mitt Romney, would do if they make it to the White House.

Bill Haber / AP

Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appears at the AARP convention in Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.

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The last time Ryan came close to getting this kind of a reception from a crowd was during his very first solo campaign event -- on Aug. 13 -- when he spoke at the Iowa State Fair.

Ryan's speech came immediately after President Barack Obama spoke -- via satellite -- to the same AARP convention, knocking the Romney-Ryan plan to overhaul Medicare.

“I don’t consider this approach bold or particularly courageous,” Obama said, per the Washington Post. “I just think it’s a bad idea. No American should spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”

The Romney-Ryan plan would transform Medicare by giving future seniors a payment -- Democrats call it a "voucher," Republicans call it "premium support" -- to purchase private insurance or to gain access to traditional Medicare.
 
Yet Ryan countered by giving one of his most in-depth descriptions of the GOP's plans to change Medicare, and he did it as he was joined by his 78-year old mother, Betty, at the conference.
 
“In order to save Medicare for future generations, we propose putting 50 million seniors, not 15 unaccountable bureaucrats, in charge of their own health-care decisions,” he said, drawing some of the only applause of the speech.