Donald Trump and Joe Biden Finally Agree on Something

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden Finally Agree on Something

If abortion was the defining issue in the 2022 midterm elections, Social Security and Medicare—and candidates’ proposals for them—appear to be the third rail in the 2024 presidential race.

Republicans who had previously called for reform—or outright elimination of the programs—feigned outrage when President Joe Biden said during his State of the Union address on Tuesday that “some” members wanted to gut Social Security and Medicare, an apparent recognition of the 96 percent rate of support for Social Security in a 2020 AARP poll.

“Are we all on the same page?” Biden asked after the Republican National Committee booed him. “Social Security and Medicare are no longer available?”

That, as it’s turning out, means everyone: including Biden’s chief political rival, former President Donald Trump.


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“Cut waste, fraud, and abuse everywhere that we can find it and there is plenty there’s plenty of it,” the former president said. “But do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save Social Security, don’t destroy it.”

Newsweek has reached out to Trump’s team for comment.

As a candidate again, Trump formally made his opposition to cuts to both programs a part of his 2024 platform as early as last month, Politico reported, stating unequivocally in a campaign video message that Republicans should not vote to “cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security” amid broader discussions of spending cuts to address the national debt.

In doing so, Trump has sought to outflank the rest of the Republican field early in an effort to secure his party’s nomination next year over potential candidates like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who once expressed support for privatizing Social Security and Medicare during his 2012 run for Congress, according to a CNN report on Thursday.

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Trump has previously targeted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis when he uploaded a video of DeSantis praising former House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose career collapse under the Trump administration coincided with his plans to replace Medicare with private insurance vouchers.

In a radio interview on Thursday night, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Republican competitor Senator Rick Scott’s 12-point plan, which would force Congress to reauthorize Social Security and Medicare every five years, stating, “This is a poor notion.”

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“This was clearly the Rick Scott plan, it is not the Republican Plan. And that’s the view of the Speaker of the House as well,” McConnell said. “I think we’re in a more authoritative position to state what the position of the party is that any single senator.”

The Kentucky Republican added: “I think it will be a challenge for him to deal with this in his own reelection in Florida, a state with more elderly people than any other state in America.”

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