After refusing to take a position – or even comment on – Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial budget plan, former Erie County Executive Chris Collins is now trying to turn the Medicare tables on his Democratic opponent, Rep. Kathy Hochul, sending out a fundraising email that accuses her of “scaring seniors with half-truths, lies and distortions.”

The appeal bears the subject line “typical Kathy” and includes a photo of the congresswoman walking outside the White House with President Obama, to whom the Republicans have been trying to tie Hochul in hopes of reducing her re-election chances in the state’s most Republican House district.

Collins’ email accuses Hochul of voting to cut $700 billion from Medicare and Medicare Advantage (by rejecting repeal of the Affordable Care Act), and urges supporters to “send a real message” to the congresswoman by donating to his campaign.

“After promising us she’d protect our seniors and Medicare, Kathy Hochul actually voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare and Medicare Advantage,” Collins continued. “Her embrace of ObamaCare hurts seniors – the very people she promised to protect.”

“That’s right – she’s the only candidate in this race who voted to cut Medicare – by $700 billion. That’s the kind of hypocrisy typical politicians like Kathy are known for. They say one thing at home, but do another in Washington.”

“We have serious problems ahead of us. As a result of Barack Obama and Kathy Hochul’s reckless policies of massive debts, skyrocketing taxes and economic failure, our country is at a tipping point. Their failed policies have jeopardized the very programs they claim to protect – like Medicare. But even worse, their failed policies have jeopardized the the future of our children and grandchildren.”

“We need to get serious about cutting our spending, reducing the debt and fixing our economy. To do that, we need serious leaders who will tell us the truth, and not use scare tactics like Kathy Hochul.”

Collins can get away with saying Hochul is the ” only candidate in this race who voted to cut Medicare” because, of course, he hasn’t been in Congress to vote on any of the 31 GOP-advanced repeal bills.

He also won’t say how he might vote on the Ryan budget, so it’s impossible to know – so far – whether Collins supports the nwely-minted VP hopeful’s plan to overhaul Medicare, in part by adding in a voucher option.

UPDATE: Hochul’s campaign points out that Collins praised Ryan in May for “starting the conversation” about entitlement programs, but said his plan doesn’t go far enough, noting it won’t balance the budget for 30 years. Collins expressed an interested in seeing that timeline reduced to a decade.