But loud denials from Republicans about the planned cuts would certainly draw more attention over the next 24 hours, and the president was happy to help.
Touting his economic plan on Wednesday during a trip to the LIUNA Training Center in DeForest, Wisconsin, President Biden waded the Social Security line again to set the record straight.
After some Republicans called him a “liar!” on the Social Security affirmation, Biden told workers, “I remind you that Rick Scott from Florida, the guy who ran the US Senate campaign, has a plan. I have his pamphlet here.”
Opening the pamphlet, Biden read a section that proposed to scrap “all federal laws” every five years. “If the law is worth obeying,” Biden continued, “Congress can pass it again.”
“Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,” Biden noted, pointing out that Scott’s plan would apply to all three programs.
Afterwards, Biden reminded the training center crowd that their own senator, Ron Johnson, supported putting both programs on the chopping block “every year.”
Finally, Biden moved on to Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who looked like he was having a cow Tuesday night as Biden called the Republican plan. Biden explained that someone later showed him a video of Lee telling voters his goal would be “to phase out Social Security, pull it out by its roots, get rid of it,” Biden noted, repeating Lee’s quote from the 2010 video almost verbatim.
“That seems pretty clear to me, how about you?” Biden asked the crowd. “They certainly didn’t like me calling them.”
Biden went on to note that he would veto any such effort to roll back the programs that have become a lifeline for so many seniors. The good news, Biden added, was the fact that it looked like Republicans were okay with scrapping curricular cuts.
“Do you remember what I said? I said, ‘So you’re not going to cut it, huh?
“I said, ‘Okay, we have a deal. Well, I sure hope that’s true. I’ll believe it when I see it and their budget is set with the cuts they’re proposing,” Biden said.
That’s a lot of mileage Biden got from Tuesday night’s exchange, not to mention the fact that he was dealing it in front of union workers in critical condition.
“These benefits belong to you, the American worker,” he told the crowd. “You’ve earned it. And I won’t allow anyone to cut them – not today, not tomorrow, ever – period.”
Biden therefore won the No. 1 round on Tuesday, on live television. Then, in Round No. 2 on Wednesday, Biden revisited the whole affair during a visit to Wisconsin to tout his economic agenda, but this time he named names. This triggered the third round, in which the senators he nominated sought to deny their previous comments.
Senator Ron Johnson sent a statement to the Washington Post claiming that Biden is “lying about me. I want to record these programs. I simply pointed out that the biggest threat to these programs is debt and runaway deficits.”
Lee’s spokesperson did not respond to a request from the Jobalthough Lee posted a video in which he stated “The President of the United States looked us straight in the eye and misrepresented what half the people in the room believe.”
The White House also provided the Job (and probably other outlets) with a list of Republicans who support the targeting of the programs. It includes Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate GOP.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was forced to sort out the situation on Wednesday fox and friendssay that he has “said it several times: social security and health insurance are no longer on the table”.
Again, every day Republicans spend trying to convince voters they don’t Really want to cut two of the nation’s most popular federal programs, is a good day for Democrats.
We chat with one of our favorite election analyst colleagues on this week’s episode of Downvoting, Sabato’s Crystal Ball Kyle Kondik. Kyle helped run races last year for CBS and gives us a rare window inside a TV station’s decision desk on election night, which literally has a big button to call the control of the Room – which no one could press. Kyle also dives into his new race odds for the 2024 Senate card, including why he thinks Joe Manchin’s unlikely tightrope act could finally come to an end.
In their Weekly Hits, co-hosts David Nir and David Beard recap major developments in two Senate contests: Rep. Adam Schiff’s entry into the race to succeed Dianne Feinstein and the GOP’s unexpected show of unity during open-seat election in Indiana. They also dissect the first poll in this year’s hotly contested race for governor of Kentucky and highlight another 2023 battle that shouldn’t be overlooked: the race for a vacant seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.