President Joe Biden on Tuesday in Florida said that Republicans want to end Social Security, Medicare for the elderly and other measures to make prescription drugs more accessible, and he urged Floridians to vote for candidates – specifically Democrats – who will not deprive them of those social benefits.
However, hardly any Republicans have claimed they wish to eliminate social security. Even liberal outlets such as USA Today say so.
At his first public event on his visit to the Sunshine State at a community center in Hallandale Beach a week before the midterm elections in which Democrats could lose control of both the House of Representatives and Senate, Biden asked his audience to imagine what would happen if those social protections were ended by a Republican-controlled Congress.
He said that it is “crystal clear” that that is what could happen if the GOP obtains a legislative congressional majority in the upcoming balloting.
The president was especially harsh in his remarks about Republican National Committee head and Florida Sen. Rick Scott, about whom he emphasized that he’s going beyond simply calling for Social Security and Medicare to be reviewed every five years.
Biden said that Scott wants the programs to be voted on each year, thus raising the possibility that one or both could simply be ended soon after a Republican-controlled Congress were seated.
However, USA Today says that “Republicans have rarely touched these programs, even when they control each branch of the federal government.”
And regarding Scott, USA Today adds that “the senator’s plan doesn’t explicitly refer to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and he has repeatedly insisted that his proposals represent only his ideas, not the Republican Party’s ideas.”
Scott himself denied these claims in a Fox News interview. He dismissed them as “Democratic talking points” and said his proposal intended to focus on how to deal with possible funding shortfalls in the near future.
He also had pointed comments to make about Florida’s other senator, Marco Rubio, also a Republican, who is seeking reelection on Nov. 8.
Biden said that Rubio “disappointed” him for having voted, just as all of his fellow GOP lawmakers did, against the Inflation Reduction Act, meaning that – among other things – he voted against placing limits on the “astronomical” prices for medications and allowing big pharmaceutical companies to do what they want and set prices for products that are vital for many people.
However, even the Washington Post‘s fact-checker Glenn Kessler said this was fake news.
“This is yet another example in which Democrats strain to conjure up a nonexistent GOP plan regarding Social Security and Medicare,” Kessler said.
“We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half of the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters.
Biden’s visit to South Florida is aimed at spurring Democrats to get out and vote in a state where Republicans have been gaining strength since the 2016 presidential vote that sent Donald Trump to the White House.
Besides the Hallandale Beach event, Biden is scheduled to attend an event at an African American university in Miami Gardens where Charlie Crist – the Democratic candidate for Florida governor, but who is trailing GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in the voter surveys – and Val Demings, who is vying with Rubio for his Senate seat and is also trailing in the polls will speak.
“This to me is one of the most important races in the country,” Biden said. “Charlie is running against Donald Trump incarnate,” he added, referring to DeSantis.