Democratic operatives are targeting four House Republicans running for Senate – attempting to put them on the spot on whether they support the privatization of Social Security and cuts to Medicare as outlined in Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget roadmap.
TPMDC has learned the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is going after Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) with releases to their local newspapers to ask where they stand on Republican plans to “kill Social Security.”
The DSCC asks those members to take a stand on Ryan’s plan to “privatize Social Security, cutting the tax rate on corporations, raising the retirement age to 70, and moving Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to private insurance plans,” asking if they side with Main Street or Wall Street.“Will Congressman Mike Castle support the Republican plan that would leave the livelihood of Delaware’s 113,885 Social Security beneficiaries to the volatility of the stock market,” DSCC spokeswoman Deirdre Murphy asks in one of the releases going after Castle, who is running for the open U.S. Senate seat.
As we have reported, Democrats are pushing the issue in hopes of gaining similar political traction to how they benefited from GOP plans to privatize Social Security in 2005.
The DSCC releases are state specific, detailing the number of senior citizens who would be left “vulnerable to poverty” in each state
“The bottom line of the plan according to the Congressional Budget Office: anyone who currently benefits from the mentioned programs would have the risk and increased cost placed on them, rather than the federal government,” the DSCC says.
As we started calling Republicans about this issue in the last week, Boozman’s Congressional office told us that he appreciates the Ryan plan. He also blasted President Obama’s budget as “irresponsible” and “totally unsustainable.”
“Congressman Ryan is working to cut the deficit spending and I appreciate his commitment to putting our country on the road to fiscal responsibility. His proposal may not be perfect, but I think he is making a thoughtful and serious effort to prevent Congress from driving our country into financial ruin,” Boozman said in a statement.
TPM has asked the Kirk and Castle campaigns for a response and will update if we get them. We tried Blunt’s Senate campaign, but the number listed on the Web site says it’s a non-working number. His Congressional office has promised to pass along the message.
Additional reporting by Rachel Slajda.