Former President Donald Trump attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on his position on social security and medicare reforms on Monday – building on a strategy to tie his GOP opponents to the so-called political third rail, as the former president rises. his third campaign for the White House.
Trump, using the nickname “Ron DeSanctus,” said DeSantis “Three times to cut and destroy Social Security,” proposed raising the retirement age to at least 70 and voted to “radically CUT MEDICARE ,” he wrote on Truth Social.
The post appears to reference DeSantis’ three votes as a member of Congress in favor of non-binding resolutions that proposed reducing projected Medicare spending over the next 10 years.
DeSantis also suggested during his 2012 campaign that he supports partial privatization of Medicare and in 2013 told CNN that “we need to restructure” Medicare, though he appeared to soften his stance on the issue earlier this month, telling to Fox News that Republicans “don’t mess with Social Welfare.”
Trump has sought to contrast with other GOP members by criticizing those who have expressed openness to entitlement reforms: In January he urged Republicans in a video posted on social media not to “destroy” federal health care and retirement programs. negotiate with the White House to raise the debt ceiling.
During his speech Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Trump took a veiled shot at DeSantis, without mentioning him by name, and said “we’re not going back to people who want our great Social Security system to destroy,” adding “I wonder who that is.”
Former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley also faced attacks from Trump on her medicare and social security positions after announcing her presidential campaign on February 14, when she quickly sent an email to supporters expressing her support for his plan. former Republican House Speaker Paul did. Ryan would have turned Medicare into a voucher program.
In a separate post Monday on Truth Social, Trump targeted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who landed a tax fraud conviction against the Trump Organization in December and reportedly convened a grand jury to indict Trump. weighed in relation to hush-money payments made to him. Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign for president. Trump called Bragg a “racist” and said he is devoting resources to “harassing and tormenting my 75-year-old employee,” even though Manhattan is “one of the worst areas for murder and violent crime in the United States .” The post referenced former Trump organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who was sentenced to five months in prison in the tax fraud case. The GOP has seized on rising crime rates in major cities during the pandemic and concerns about voter safety while attacking Democratic policies as “soft on crime.” The dynamic is widely believed to have led to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s upset last week in an election in which police-turned-police candidate Paul Vallas won the largest share of the vote among the nine Democratic candidates.
The attacks come after DeSantis and Trump spoke at dueling Republican events over the weekend as both ramped up their political activities ahead of next year’s GOP primary. During Trump’s CPAC speech, he attacked the Republican establishment, telling the crowd that “we are never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush.” He also retracted his earlier claims of early and absentee voting fraud and urged the party to embrace all forms of voting after Republicans suffered an unexpected number of midterm losses amid a lack of confidence in the early voting process raised by Trump and his allies. . Meanwhile, DeSantis spoke Thursday at a donor event hosted by the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, whose PAC is a major spender in GOP races. Trump was not invited to the event after a feud that began during last year’s GOP primary races, when Trump and the club endorsed opposition candidates in key Senate contests. DeSantis also gave remarks Sunday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, along with a signing of his new book, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for American Survival. The speeches largely followed DeSantis’ pitch that Florida’s success during the Covid-19 pandemic was due to its less restrictive policies.
Trump’s attack on GOP proposals related to healthcare and social security – known as the political third rail because of its broad popularity among voters – is often used by the Democratic party against GOP candidates. The White House continued the tactic in its negotiations with Republicans regarding raising the debt ceiling and has repeatedly claimed that Republicans want to take advantage of social security and health care. The Biden Administration has zoned in on a proposal from Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) that would require a vote on all federal legislation every five years, including social security and medicare. Amid criticism – including opposition from Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – Scott changed the proposal in February to omit the entitlement programs.
Here’s why Trump was stumped at a Big Conservative Event led by DeSantis (Forbes).
DeSantis Sets Stage for 2024 Run: Hosts Trump Supporters at Fundraiser, Launches Cross-Country Book Tour (Forbes)
Biden Uses Decades Strategy to Attack GOP on Social Security, Medicare (Forbes)