Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) is not walking back his opposition to President Barack Obama's proposed cuts to Social Security - a goal ordinarily sought by the majority of his party.
Walden, who chairs the National Republican Campaign Committee, said Wednesday that Obama’s budget “lays out a shocking attack on seniors" by including a provision called Chained CPI, which cuts the growth of Social Security benefits.
“Chairman Walden supports the budget passed by House Republicans that preserves and protects Medicare and Social Security while also balancing the budget in 10 years," a spokesman for the NRCC told TPM in a statement. "He disagrees with President Obama’s political plan that hurts current seniors just so he can pay for more wasteful spending.”
Walden's position stands in sharp contrast to what many conservatives and even House GOP leadership have been pushing for Obama to do for years -- stand up to the left and reform entitlements in order to bring down the deficit. His comments prompted the conservative advocacy group Club for Growth to lash out on Wednesday, demanding the chairman answer for the remark.
“Greg Walden doesn’t seriously oppose even the most modest of reforms to social security, right?” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement. "If anything, President Obama nibbles around the edges of entitlement reform and doesn’t do anything to put entitlements on a permanently sustainable path. Greg Walden ought to think about clarifying his remarks on chained CPI, and think about clarifying soon. I’m sure his constituents would like to know his opinion."
Steve Israel, Walden's counterpart at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, took to Twitter to mock Walden, but strayed away from awkwardly opposing Obama's cuts as well.
"Instead of compromising to get solutions on the budget, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden outrageously attacked parts of President Obama’s budget proposal that were included at the demand of Republicans," a spokesman for the DCCC added in a statement.