GOP Attacks Dem Candidate From The Left On Social Security Cuts

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Republicans launched a puzzling attack on Democratic candidate Alex Sink of Florida for speaking favorably about a broad proposal that includes Social Security cuts.

Sink is running in an upcoming special election for the House seat vacated by Rep. Bill Young (R-FL), who died last fall. She reportedly said the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction proposal was a good starting point for the dialogue.

“Alex Sink supports a plan that raises the retirement age for Social Security recipients, raises social security taxes and cuts Medicare all while making it harder for Pinellas seniors to keep their doctors that they know and love,” Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement. “Sending Alex Sink to Washington guarantees that seniors right here in Pinellas County are in jeopardy of losing the Social Security and Medicare benefits that they have earned and deserve.”

The criticism is remarkable because it comes just days after the offices of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attacked President Barack Obama for backing away from Social Security cuts (a policy known as Chained CPI) that he proposed in his budget last year. Republican leaders have been pushing — privately more than publicly — for years to scale back Social Security and Medicare.

“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis,” Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Boehner, said last week. “The one and only idea the president has to offer is even more job-destroying tax hikes, and that non-starter won’t do anything to save the entitlement programs that are critical to so many Americans. With three years left in office, it seems the president is already throwing in the towel.”

Prill didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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