WASHINGTON — A new ad out from Tarryl Clark hits Rep. Michele Bachmann over Social Security, saying Bachmann wants to “wean everybody off” of Social Security. Bachmann’s camp, however, says the ad takes Bachmann’s words misleadingly out of context.
“Well, Michele Bachmann says we need to ‘wean everybody off’ Social Security,” says a female voiceover. “Like Social Security isn’t your money. Like it’s an addiction you need to break. If Michele Bachmann wants to wean you off Social Security, she sure can’t be trusted to protect it.”
It ends by saying of Bachmann: “Keeping her pay raises but not our promises to seniors.”
The full ad is below.
Team Bachmann hit back, saying that Bachmann was very clear that she was only talking about people who aren’t currently on Social Security.
“It’s more misleading claims by the Clark campaign,” said Bachmann spokesman Sergio Gor, calling Clark a “desperate” candidate.
“It’s being taken out of context. What, conveniently, the Clark campaign is doing is taking one part of the argument without taking the whole argument.”
Bachmann’s full remarks from February are reprinted below. I’ve bolded the bit in question:
BACHMANN: Is the country too big to fail? No, the country can fail. We can, we’re not invincible. And we’re so close now to being at that point because the thing is, as Glenn Beck said last night, it is true. The $107 trillion that he put on the board. We’re $14 trillion in debt, but that doesn’t include the unfunded massive liabilities. That’s $107 trillion, and that’s for Social Security and Medicare and all the rest. You add up all those unfunded net liabilities, and all the traps that could go wrong we’re on the hook fo
r, and what it means is what we have to do is a reorganization of all of that, Social Security and all. We have to do it simply because we can’t let the contract remain as they are because the older people are going to lose.
So, what you have to do, is keep faith with the people that are already in the system, that don’t have any other options, we have to keep faith with them. But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off. And wean everybody off because we have to take those unfunded net liabilities off our bank sheet, we can’t do it. So we just have to be straight with people. So basically, whoever our nominee is, is going to have to have a Glenn Beck chalkboard and explain to everybody this is the way it is.
There’s a difference between what Clark’s ad says and what Bachmann said some months ago. Given that, I asked Clark’s camp if the ad was misleading, and if the images of senior citizens was appropriate to place alongside those words.
Said Clark spokeswoman Carrie Lucking: “There is nothing misleading about the ad. Michele Bachmann wants to “wean” people “off” Social Security, which makes them addicts that need to be ‘weaned.’ Current seniors, who are eligible for Social Security, are addicts. Thus the image is appropriate. “