To really understand how completely President Obama threw Democrats under the bus by putting chained-CPI in his budget last year, look no further than Florida. There the NRCC is attacking Alex Sink (D) in the special congressional election for saying positive things about Obama’s past grand bargain efforts. From the Sunshine State News:
On Thursday, the NRCC bashed Sink for saying she supported Simpson-Bowles.
“Alex Sink supports a plan that raises the retirement age for Social Security recipients, raises Social Security taxes and cuts Medicare, all while making it harder for Pinellas seniors to keep their doctors that they know and love,” said Katie Prill, a spokeswoman for the NRCC. “Sending Alex Sink to Washington guarantees that seniors right here in Pinellas County are in jeopardy of losing the Social Security and Medicare benefits that they have earned and deserve.”
Of course Democrats have launched their own attacks against Republican David Jolly claiming he is, in fact, the one who wants to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Removing chained-CPI this year should help, but that damage is mostly done after years of trying to get that grand bargain. At the very least Obama has muddied the waters, making it difficult for Democrats to use one of their best campaign issues, defending Social Security.
Democrats are left trying to argue they are less bad on Social Security, despite Obama being the one who actually put the cuts in his budget, by pointing out Obama only did that for Republicans, even though the Republicans still rejected it.
I’ll love watching how Democrats try to phrase that logic stream more intelligibly during debate question responses or in campaign ads.