Candidates face off on Medicare

NEW ORLEANS (CNN) - With 46 days until the election, political candidates focused on another number Friday: the over 50 crowd.

Medicare and Social Security are big issues for what AARP says are its more than 37 million members.

A CNN-ORC poll this month asked likely voters, "Who would best handle Medicare?" 54 percent said Mr. Obama, 43 percent sided with Mitt Romney.

Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan told the crowd he believes Romney/Ryan would strengthen Medicare. When he said the first step they would take toward that end, though, would be to repeal "Obamacare," he was booed.

The Obama campaign has said the plan Paul Ryan advanced in Congress would cost seniors more. President Obama said via satellite he didn't mind the world "Obamacare," arguing the policy has strengthened Medicare.

"In fact, the health reform law we passed has already saved more than 5.5 million seniors and people with disabilities nearly $4.5 billion on their prescription drugs," he said.

Another September CNN-ORC poll asked voters over 50 years old about President Obama's job performance. 46 percent approved, 50 percent did not. It's a higher disapproval rating than younger voters reported and a reminder that winning over older voters may help decide who wins the next four years.