Angle: I Haven’t Changed My Mind On Phasing Out Social Security

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August 19, 2010 8:46 a.m.
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Sharron Angle further explained her position on Social Security while speaking to reporters on Wednesday — and said that she hasn’t really changed from her previously stated view that the program should be “transitioned out.”

Politico reports:

Addressing reporters after her speech, Angle was asked about her old campaign website, which called for a Social Security system that is “transitioned out.” Her website no longer carries that language, a fact she’s emphasized in the past, including during the primary, when she said the country needs to “phase Medicare and Social Security out in favor of something privatized.”

“It’s not really a change – a change in language perhaps, but not a change in direction,” she said Wednesday. “The change is just because Harry Reid has so distorted and misinterpreted my words that I’ve had to explain those words, the words are really the explanation of a policy I’ve had from the beginning.”

She said the policy is to “pay back” senior citizens for the money they’ve put into the system. Going forward, she would give people the option of leaving that “Social Security-type system and go to something more personalized,” she said.

As we’ve noted, Angle has taken a long (and circular) journey on Social Security. She has previously campaigned to have the program phased out, but has now taken to running an ad touting her support of senior citizens and her commitment to protecting the program’s fiscal soundness, and saying she would offer people a choice of Social Security or private accounts. On the other hand, she has also talked up the Chilean pension system — which was enacted under the military dictator Augusto Pinochet — which requires workers to invest in private accounts, and where the public plan was only continued for retirees and some workers at its outset.

The TPM Poll Average for the Nevada Senate race currently puts Harry Reid ahead by 46.4%-43.8%.

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