Republican U.S. Senate nominee Linda McMahon’s interview with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour raised questions about her previous positions on Medicare and Social Security, but her campaign argued Sunday that nothing had changed.
In the interview, which aired Sunday, Amanpour asked McMahon about her lack of specifics on which particular programs in the federal budget she would seek to cut.
“The reason I’ve not been specific as to particular programs—and I’ve dealt with it in terms of rolling back non-defense discretionary spending to 2008 levels because that was an approach I took as a CEO,” McMahon told Amanpour. “You look at how are you going to cut costs and cut expenses, you can look at a 10 percent cut across the board.”
Amanpour asked directly, “Social Security and Medicaid is that where you would cut?”
“Let me just name a couple of other things too,” McMahon said. “I do think we should freeze the federal hiring and freeze wages. Again, not going to make a big dent. However, I do believe we should take the balance of the stimulus money and pay down the debt.”
Back in August when CTNewsjunkie caught up with McMahon at the Manchester Peach Festival and asked for specifics on how she would balance the budget and how she would modify Social Security and Medicare—which make up about 40 percent of the federal budget—she told us: “Here’s my position: 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.”
Asked Sunday evening if McMahon had changed her position on Social Security and Medicare, Ed Patru, her communications director, said “No.”
He said McMahon was giving Amanpour a list of non-defense discretionary cuts she would support when Amanpour interrupted her with a question about Social Security and Medicaid—two entitlement programs.
But McMahon’s opponent, Democratic nominee Richard Blumenthal’s campaign tried to use the exchange to surmise that she would cut Social Security and Medicare 10 percent. The campaign wasted no time creating an online petition asking their supporters to say ‘No, to McMahon’s taking look into a 10 percent cut in Social Security.”
Not only is it not true, Patru said, but it would be a ridiculous thing for any candidate to say three weeks before an election. He said McMahon still supports strengthening all entitlement programs, including Medicare and Social Security.