EXETER, N.H. (AP) — Mitt Romney is tackling one of the 2012 presidential contest's most delicate issues today.

The Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts governor has released a broad plan to transform Medicare, the popular health-insurance program for the elderly. He addressed the lightning-rod issue and other spending cuts during a fiscal policy speech before an afternoon gathering of conservative activists at the Washington Convention Center, where the tea party-allied group Americans for Prosperity is holding a two-day event.

Romney has struggled to win over tea party supporters, and his cuts would not go as far as some would like. But he says he would slash federal spending by $500 billion in his first term as president.

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