Former President Bill Clinton took a shot at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday, telling New York voters that McCarthy wants to cut Social Security and Medicare if given the opportunity.
Speaking at a campaign event for Democratic House candidate Josh Riley, Clinton said that Riley’s opponent, Republican Marc Molinaro, wants to help McCarthy become House Speaker. He then made his claim about what McCarthy has planned.
“He said if you vote for us, you didn’t cause this inflation, but you’re going to pay for it because here’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to cut Social Security, we’re going to cut Medicare,” Clinton said.
The claim is the same one that Democrats including President Biden and former President Barack Obama have been making in the days and weeks before Election Day. Republicans, however, insist that it is not true.
When asked about Clinton’s remarks, a spokesperson for McCarthy directed Fox News to the leader’s Commitment for America plan, and its call to “Save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.”
Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., have also faced accusations of wanting to cut Social Security, with Obama yelling at an event in Milwaukee on Saturday that Johnson should not be the state’s senator because of his position.
On Monday, Johnson rejected this idea completely, saying that Democrats are pushing falsehoods because they are unable to defend their own policies.
“All they do is they trot out the same old lies, you know, the Republicans want to end Social Security, we want to put it on the chopping block. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Johnson told Fox News. “We want to save social security. We want to bring down inflation. We want to reduce massive deficit spending that sparked inflation.”
Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel referred to the Democratic talking point as “scare tactics” during an interview with “Fox News Sunday.”
The basis for the claim appears to be a policy document detailing Sen. Scott’s “Plan to Rescue America.” One part of the plan says, “All federal legislation sunsets in 5 years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.” Theoretically, this would include Social Security, although Scott has gone on record saying he has every intention of keeping it.
During a speech in Florida on Tuesday, Biden called out Scott while repeating the Social Security claim.
“He said every five years, Social Security and Medicare would have to be reauthorized,” Biden said, referring to Scott’s plan without noting that every federal program would have to be reauthorized.
“A senator from Florida going after Medicare and Social Security?” Biden added, questioning the wisdom of supposedly wanting to cut those programs in a state with a large elderly population.
When asked Sunday on CNN if he planned to eliminate Social Security, Scott rejected the idea completely.
“Absolutely not,” he said. Pressed on if he supported reducing Social Security or Medicare benefits to keep the programs going, he similarly said, “No, and I don’t know one Republican who does,” adding that President Biden did support such an idea when he was in the Senate.