Dems Seize On Club For Growth’s “Hell Yeah!” Push For Social Security Privatization

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This is the fight Democrats want to have. Yesterday, the influential Club for Growth — a conservative advocacy group formerly led by Pat Toomey, the current Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania — publicly argued for privatizing Social Security. It was actually more blatant than that. The organization titled their pitch: “Privatize Social Security? Hell Yeah!”

“Most Republicans are running away from the Social Security issue,” the post read. “They’ve probably been told by establishment handlers to never defend “privatization” or personal accounts. Baloney…. Candidates for Congress should adopt that message and support it loudly.”

Democrats swiftly reacted, in the hope of wedging those very Republican candidates from the Club for Growth — or, better yet, exposing those Republicans who agree with the group.The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is directing its salvo at eight House Republican candidates, many in swing districts: Reps. Todd Young (IN), Justin Amash (MI), Nan Hayworth (NY), Tim Griffin (AR), David Harmer (CA), David Schweikert (AZ), and Jesse Kelly (AZ).

“Today Jesse Kelly’s backers in Washington announced a ‘hell yeah’ approach to privatizing Social Security, effectively signing over Arizona seniors’ retirement benefits to Wall Street,” said Ryan Rudominer, Spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in a release to reporters in Kelly’s district. “With Arizona families losing their savings on Wall Street and seniors struggling to make ends meet, the last thing they need is Jesse Kelly subjecting their guaranteed Social Security benefits to the whims of Wall Street.”

Many Republicans will run away from the Club for Growth on this issue. Yesterday, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) told TPM unequivocally that he disagrees with the group in this instance. But the Club is known for turning up the heat on moderate Republicans, and Dems are hopeful that their privatization push will make those members trip over themselves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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