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MIAMI—Mitt Romney rejected Democratic claims that Paul Ryan's congressional budget proposal is "radical and extreme," but declined to say exactly where he disagrees with his vice presidential running mate's fiscal policies, even as he suggested policy differences do exist.
Speaking to reporters on the tarmac outside his campaign plane at the airport here, Romney repeatedly declined to get into the specifics of where he and Ryan differ on federal budget proposals. Asked specifically to say where he disagrees with Ryan, Romney twice dodged the question.
"I'm sure there are places that my budget is different than his, but we're on the same page… We want to get America on track to a balanced budget," Romney said.
The presumptive Republican nominee said he and his potential VP agree that President Barack Obama's health care reform plan should be repealed as well as about efforts to cut federal spending. He also said he and Ryan both oppose efforts to cut Medicare for current recipients. But asked again to outline the differences he hinted at in their budget proposals, Romney didn't say.
"There may be," Romney said. "We'll take a look at the differences."
"The items that we agree on, I think, outweigh any differences there may be," Romney added. "We haven't gone through piece by piece, and said, 'Oh, here's a place where there's a difference. I can't imagine any two people even in the same party who have exactly all the same positions on all issues."
Speaking specifically about Medicare—an issue that could put Romney's efforts to win voters here at risk—Romney said his plan is similar to Ryan's—and insisted current and near retirees wouldn't be impacted. But he said it was crucial to undertake entitlement reform so the country could deliver on "promises" it has made to future generations.
"The truth is we simply cannot simply continue to pretend like a Medicare on track to go bankrupt at some point is acceptable. We must take action to make sure that we can save Medicare for coming generations," Romney said. "And this president's been in office for three-and-a-half years and hasn't been willing to make any proposals to make sure and save Medicare other than to put in place an unelected board which will tell people what kind of treatments they can have."
Romney insisted that when Americans hear what he's proposing, they would come around.
"The people of America will get a chance to hear those things, and I believe that when they understand the truth, they are going to take action that is in the best interest of the American people."
At the top of his remarks, Romney offered his "thoughts and prayers" to those affected by the shooting at Texas A&M University and said there has be "consideration" of how to prevent tragedies like it and the other recent shootings across the country. But Romney again insisted new gun control laws are not the answer.
"We've now had apparently from the early reports three of these tragedies in a row, and I happen to believe that this is not a matter of the weapon that is used, it's a matter of the individuals and the choices these people make," Romney said. "We have to understand how to prevent those kinds of choices from being made. I don't think gun laws are the answer, but I do believe that this is a topic that needs to be considered."