Posted at 02:20 PM ET, 08/16/2012

Paul Ryan taking Medicare battle to Florida retirement community over weekend

This post has been updated.

WARREN, Ohio – How serious is the Romney campaign about seizing the offense in the Medicare battle?

The campaign is dispatching Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, to a Florida retirement community this weekend.

Ryan will headline a campaign event at 10 a.m. Saturday in The Villages, the sprawling retirement community frequented by GOP candidates, including by Romney during this year’s primary battle.
Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) greets the crowd at a campaign stop at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, on Thursday. (Phil Long - AP)

The company that developed The Villages and several members of the family that started it have donated more than $900,000 to Restore Our Future, a group that is running advertising in swing states on Romney’s behalf.

Developer H. Gary Morse, who runs the company, is a member of Romney’s Florida finance team and a prolific fundraiser for state Republicans and also for former President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. His father founded the fast-growing, age-restricted community dubbed “Florida’s Friendliest Retirement Hometown.”

Ryan will be joined at the event by his mother, Betty Douglas.

At a North Canton campaign stop Thursday morning, Ryan for the second time on the campaign trail, said the Medicare fight is one that Republicans welcome.

“The president was talking about Medicare yesterday,” Ryan told a crowd of about 1,700 at Walsh University, a small Catholic school. “I’m excited about this. This is a debate we want to have. This is a debate we need to have and this is a debate we’re going to win.”

Ryan also is expected to campaign with Romney in New Hampshire on Monday, according to spokesman Ryan Williams. The announcement is somewhat unexpected: the two tentatively had not been expected to campaign together again until after the GOP convention in Tampa, Aug. 27-30

Romney and Ryan held their last campaign event together in High Point, N.C., on Sunday before parting ways; Ryan headed to Iowa while Romney went south to Florida.

T.W. Farnam in Washington contributed to this report.

By  |  02:20 PM ET, 08/16/2012

 
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