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Trump opens the door to attacks over Social Security and Medicare: From the Politics Desk

By 37ci3 Mar11,2024



Welcome to the online version of From the policy deskevening bulletin that brings you the latest reporting and analysis from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill from the NBC News Politics team.

In today’s edition, senior national political correspondent Sahil Kapur points out how Donald Trump has opened himself up to attacks on Social Security and Medicare. Plus, senior political editor Mark Murray explains why Joe Biden is ramping up his campaign activity this week.


Trump gives Biden a target by talking up his entitlement programs

By Sahil Kapoor

Donald Trump kicked off the debate Joe Biden craved on Monday.

Attacking his GOP primary rivals for wanting to spend less on entitlement programs, Trump has opened the door to “cutting” Social Security and Medicare. During an interview with CNBC.

“First of all, there’s a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cuts,” Trump said, referring to a plan to address the programs’ long-term solvency problems. He went on to blast “bad governance”.


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Trump did not specify what he would cut, but the Biden campaign moved quickly to share the memos on social mediasays, “Not on my watch.”

A few hours later, Biden interrupted Trump during a speech in the battleground state of New Hampshire. “If anybody tries to cut Social Security or Medicare or raise the retirement age again, I’m going to stop them,” the president said. “This morning, Donald Trump said cuts to Social Security and Medicare are back on the table.”

Trump’s campaign tried to clean up his remarks to NBC News, which he said only meant “reducing waste and fraud.” Trump spokeswoman Caroline Leavitt also argued that Biden is a real threat to the two programs, arguing that “the mass invasion of countless millions of illegal aliens, if allowed to stay, would cause Social Security and Medicare to buckle and collapse.” .”

Democrats, as the party that created Social Security and Medicare and are historically united in protecting the programs, see a big opportunity here to strike a populist tone as Biden tries to boost his declining poll numbers. Progressives applauded Biden for going on the attack on the issue and urged him to support expanding Social Security.

Republicans are more divided, with many calling for further red ink by reducing long-term benefits with policies such as raising the retirement age and using a lower inflation rate. Biden strongly ruled out cutting benefits. In the new White House budget released Monday, he outlined some special tax hikes for high earners and net investment income to address long-term shortfalls.

Trump has taken a stand against the conservative orthodoxy on entitlement cuts, but he hasn’t outlined a plan. His campaign did not respond to questions from NBC News about how he would support the programs, whether tax increases are on the table and how much he would save by reducing waste and fraud.


Biden is putting the pedal to the metal as he looks for a post-State of the Union coup

By Mark Murray

Last week was a big week for Biden with his State of the Union address.

But his failure to swing poll numbers in his direction in the early stages of the general election could also make this a big week as he ramps up campaign activity.

Just look at this week’s schedule: The president was in New Hampshire on Monday for a health care spending cuts and campaign event. On Tuesday, Biden is set to hold a campaign meeting with Teamsters members wants the approval of the union. He will visit two more battleground states, Wisconsin and Michigan, on Wednesday and Thursday. And at the White House, he is scheduled to meet with Polish leaders on Tuesday and the Irish prime minister on Friday ahead of St. Patrick’s Day.

Then there’s the action on the airwaves, with Biden promoting his administration’s policies and even openly discussing his age in a new way. 60 second TV commercial. “Look, I’m not a young man. This is no secret to anyone,” the 81-year-old president says to the camera. “But here’s the thing: I understand how to get things done for the American people.”

And over the weekend, the president sat down for an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart he said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “harms Israel” and he he regretted it Laken called the man accused of killing Riley an “outlaw” in his State of the Union speech.

This heightened activity comes after Biden received criticism for lacking a robust schedule and healthy public presence. In fact, Biden did less press conferences and media interviews than their recent predecessors.

It also comes as special counsel Robert Huron is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday about the findings of his investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents. Hurray refused Accusing Biden of a crime also concluded that the president “deliberately withheld and disclosed classified material” and called him “an old man with a failing memory” – a description of Biden and his allies controversial.

And it comes as the vote comes eight months before a general election finds Biden is (at best) running even with Trump and (at worst) trailing the former president, though usually within margin of error.

The big question: Does this expanded Biden activity — more events, new TV ads, a sit-down interview — translate into a stronger poll position, even on the fringes?



🗞️ The best stories of the day

  • 😠 Crazy, but not that crazy: While the Conservatives have irritated House Speaker Mike Johnson over government spending talks, there are no signs that they intend to oust him, as they did with Kevin McCarthy. More →
  • 🏠 Fudge says goodbye: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge is resigning, making her the second Cabinet secretary to leave the Biden administration. More →
  • 🧤 Let bygones be bygones: Trump entered the packed Michigan Republican Senate, endorsing former Rep. Mike Rogers, a onetime critic of the former president. More →
  • 🚧 SOTU response cleaning : Alabama GOP Sen. Katie Britt is facing backlash over her misleading comments during her State of the Union response about a sex-trafficking victim who told CNN it was “not fair” to use Britt’s story in her speech. More →
  • 🐊 NAACP retreats in Florida: NAACP chief doesn’t want black athletes to attend Florida’s public colleges because of state restrictions on DEI programs. More →
  • 📈 Catch it! During an appearance on CNBC, Trump suggested that he would not impose new restrictions on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. More →

For now, that’s it from The Politics Desk. If you have feedback – like it or not – email us politicsnewsletter@nbcuni.com

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