Hoping to dent Democratic attacks on his Medicare reform proposals, GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was joined by his mother at an event in Florida Saturday where he pledged to preserve the program and accused the Obama administration of trying to “mess” with seniors’ benefits.

Speaking at a campaign rally in The Villages, Fla., a large retirement community, Ryan said Medicare was “what my mom relies on, and what my grandmother had.”

“My grandma moved in with us, with my mom and me when I was in high school. She had advanced Alzheimer’s. My mom and I were her two primary care givers,” said Ryan. “Medicare was there for my family, for my grandma, when we needed it then. And Medicare’s there for my mom while she needs it now and we need to keep that guarantee.”