Obama says that he agrees with Romney on Social Security. Romney has supported giving the Trust Fund to his Wall Street buddies to play with. Is this what Obama wants to do too?
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday strongly criticized President Obama for not taking a more forceful stance on Social Security in the presidential campaign.
Sanders, founder of the Senate’s Defending Social Security Caucus and a leading voice on the issue in the Senate Democratic caucus, said he was deeply concerned by Obama’s effort to minimize differences between himself and Mitt Romney.
“It was very distressing. It was very distressing not only because it is extremely bad public policy and will cause serious damage to a whole lot of vulnerable Americans. It was also bad because he’s going against what the vast majority of the American people want and it’s going to be very bad for his re-election effort,” said Sanders in an interview.
“The American people in poll after poll after poll have been very clear, do not cut Social Security and for the president to say I expect that my position is somewhat similar to Gov. Romney is very, very distressing,” Sanders said.
Obama said he did not see a major difference between himself and Romney when moderator Jim Lehrer asked about Social Security at Wednesday night’s debate in Denver.
“You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position. Social Security is structurally sound. It’s going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker — Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill. But it is — the basic structure is sound,” he told the national television audience.
The answer sent shockwaves among Obama’s liberal and labor allies, who have made protecting Social Security from cuts one of their highest priorities.
“My jaw dropped,” said Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition and campaign, which includes the AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org Political Action, and the Service Employees International Union.
“My reaction was, ‘Then Mr. President, you don’t know the governor’s record on Social Security.’”
In 2007, Romney endorsed then President George W. Bush’s proposal to create personal savings accounts so they can make investments that have a higher return than government debt. In his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney wrote that individual retirement accounts offer an option to repair Social Security.
SOURCE: Alexander Bolton, THE HILL (October 5, 2012)