Likely presidential contender and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney disagrees with Republican U.S. Senate nominee Linda McMahon that the campaign trail isn’t the place to talk about reforms to programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Romney, who was in Greenwich Thursday raising money for Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley, said the key to lowering federal spending is making entitlement programs sustainable.
“I think in this environment the American people are ready for the truth that we can’t keep on the path we’ve been on forever,” Romney said.
But it’s not a conversation candidates like McMahon are willing to have on the campaign trail.
Two weeks ago, McMahon said, “I really do think we’re going to have strengthen all of our entitlement programs, but that’s not really a discussion for the campaign trail. I think that really needs to be in the legislative arena where we can have bipartisan debate and really talk about that earnestly.”
Earlier this week McMahon’s Democratic opponent, Richard Blumenthal, sent out a press release criticizing McMahon for not being willing to have a conversation about programs which make up about 40 percent of the federal budget.
A group of seniors supporting Blumenthal wrote that “By failing to take a position on these important issues, you are telling seniors you would consider privatizing Social Security, putting our future in risky financial markets, and raising the age on Medicare.”
“These issues are much too important for political games. If you support Social Security privatization and raising the age for Medicare you should say it so the voters can look at your record and judge for themselves if you would be the best person to represent them in the Senate,” the seniors wrote.
But McMahon’s campaign has said the campaign trail is too politically charged to have that type of conversation with voters. “She believes any plans for Social Security or Medicare must be divorced from the hyper-partisan arena of the campaign and be done in the legislative process,” Ed Patru told the National Review Online.
“You know Ross Perot got out there with his flip charts and educated the American people on issues of importance,” Romney said. “I think we’re going to have to have that kind of honesty in campaigns across the country.”
Romney said he laid out his solutions to entitlement spending in his book, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.”