In a last-ditch effort to hold onto their razor-thin majorities in Congress, Democrats are reviving an old Social Security talking point that has been repeatedly debunked by fact-checkers.

“They’re coming after Social Security,” Biden said Thursday in New York. “Now it sounds like, you know, ‘What’s – there’s Biden. That’s a typical Democrat saying Republicans are after Social Security.’ This is the one thing they’ve said out loud. They’ve written it down on pieces of paper.”

The president then cited Sen. Rick Scott’s, R-Fla., “11-Point Plan to Rescue America,” released in February, which proposes that “all federal legislation sunsets in 5 years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.”

Scott’s plan did not specifically mention Social Security or Medicare, and many Senate Republicans, including GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., disavowed Scott’s plan at the time.

President Joe Biden speaks at a rally with Democrats at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland, on Aug. 25, 2022.
(Bryan Dozier/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

BIDEN SAYS DEMOCRATS WILL DELIVER ‘STRONGER’ SOCIAL SECURITY, WARNS A GOP MAJORITY COULD HAVE IT ‘SLICED’

“That will not be part of a Republican Senate majority agenda,” McConnell said on March 1 with Scott by his side.

Scott has since explained that his plan, which was released through his own campaign and not the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC), which he chairs, is meant only to examine and reform federal programs like Social Security and Medicare, not eliminate them.

But Democrats proceeded to run with the narrative anyway, with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) releasing an ad in March saying Senate Republicans want to “end” Social Security and Medicare, highlighting an appearance by Scott talking about his plan on Fox News.

In the same Fox News interview, however, during a portion not included in the DSCC ad, Scott explained that he, in fact, wants to “preserve” Social Security and Medicare.

“No one that I know of wants to sunset Medicare or Social Security, but what we’re doing is we don’t even talk about it,” Scott said. “Medicare goes bankrupt in four years. Social Security goes bankrupt in 12 years. I think we ought to figure out how we preserve those programs. Every program that we care about, we ought to stop and take the time to preserve those programs.”

Sen.  Rick Scott spoke with Fox News Digital at the National Conservatism Conference in Aventura, Florida, on Sept.  11, 2022.

Sen. Rick Scott spoke with Fox News Digital at the National Conservatism Conference in Aventura, Florida, on Sept. 11, 2022.
(Joseph A. Wulfsohn/Fox News Digital)

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., further explained this month on “Fox News Sunday” that Republicans have “proposed strengthening, and shoring up Medicare and Social Security, which are both, by the way, headed for bankruptcy if we do nothing.”

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said he supported Scott’s plan in March, but his campaign has since insisted the senator wants to “save these programs for future generations” and that there is “no ‘plan’ put forward by the Republican Party to eliminate Medicare and Social Security,” Politifact reported in March.

What Johnson has supported is designating all federal programs under the stricter scrutiny of discretionary spending, so that Congress must approve each program on an annual basis. While the designation would mean Medicare and Social Security could face cuts, Republicans have repeatedly said they don’t want to eliminate the programs.

“Without fiscal discipline and oversight typically found within discretionary spending, Congress has allowed the guaranteed benefits for programs like Social Security and Medicare to be threatened,” Johnson spokesperson Alexa Henning told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Washington Post.

Sen.  Ron Johnson's campaign said the Wisconsin Republican wants to "save" Medicare and Social Security "for future generations."

Sen. Ron Johnson’s campaign said the Wisconsin Republican wants to “save” Medicare and Social Security “for future generations.”
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

But those comments haven’t stopped Democrats from pushing the narrative that Republicans are coming for people’s entitlements.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeated the “chopping block” talking point on Tuesday during an Air Force One gaggle with reporters, saying under Republican leadership “millions of Americans would lose health care coverage, benefits, and other health care protections… Medicare , Medicaid and Social Security would be on the chopping block every five years.”

“Every year, Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block. Every single year,” Biden said last week.

“The point is, some of you here are on Social Security, some of your parents are on Social Security, some of your grandparents are on Social Security,” former President Barack Obama said over the weekend during a rally for Johnson’s Democratic challenger, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. “You know why they have Social Security? Because they worked for it. They worked hard jobs for it, they have chapped hands for it, they have long hours and sore backs and bad knees to get that Social Security. And if Ron Johnson does not understand that… he should not be your senator from Wisconsin.”

“Dr. Oz expressed support for a radical GOP plan that would threaten Medicare + Social Security’s very existence,” Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman tweeted last week. “These programs are lifelines for Pennsylvania’s seniors Medicare + Social Security must be strengthened, NOT taken away.”

Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally to support Michigan Democratic candidates on October 26, 2018, in Detroit.

Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally to support Michigan Democratic candidates on October 26, 2018, in Detroit.
(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

“MAGA Republicans like Rep. Kevin McCarthy want to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., tweeted two weeks ago.

“They want to end Medicare and Social Security as we know it,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., warned in an August press release.

Factcheck.org said the Democratic Party’s narrative surrounding Republicans’ plans for Social Security and Medicare is misleading, and that “there’s reason to believe” Scott’s plan “may not have widespread support in the party.”

The Washington Post said the claim that Republicans want to end Social Security and Medicare is “false” and gave the worst possible falsehood rating of four Pinocchios.

PolitiFact noted that the Democratic talking point that Scott’s plan would put Social Security at risk “overlooked another point in Scott’s plan that assumed the program would continue.”

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Axios recently reported that with the midterm elections just days away, Democrats have shifted their focus from abortion to entitlements.

In August, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent House campaigns message-testing data showing that Social Security “is one of the best-testing issues for Democrats,” the outlet reported Wednesday.



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