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New Clark ad attacks Bachmann on Social Security again

Although she was criticized for inaccuracies and mostly for false implications in her last ad attacking Michele Bachmann on Social Security, Tarryl Clark is up with a new one with a similar message.

Here’s the ad:


If you watch carefully, you’ll notice one tricky thing. In rehashing Bachmann’s statements and positions on Social Security, the ad uses quotation remarks around “complete fraud” (which, as I mentioned in a recent post, Bachmann did say about Social Security) and around “wean” which is a word Bachmann used to describe her desire to get younger workers out of Social Security in its present form, but in the middle statement, that Bachmann wants to privatize Social Security, there are no quotes. Apparently, they cannot find an instance in which Bachmann provably used the word “privatize” to describe her idea for changing the program.

But, as I mentioned in the same post, if, by “privatize,” one means the idea that has been described by that word for several decades — namely allowing some portion of Social Security to be converted into a system of individual investments in private stock, bonds and mutual funds, in exchange for which those participants would not receive as much from the program in guaranteed, inflation-adjusted retirement benefits — that does appear to be what Bachmann favors. She just won’t say the word “private,” and, recently, she won’t clarify that this is what she favors, although she has made it clear in the past.

The other bit of business hanging over from the previous ad is that Bachmann did indeed say she advocates “wean[ing] everybody off” of Social Security, but that in full context, that statement made clear that she believes those at or near retirement should receive the benefits that have been promised to them. Younger workers would be “weaned off,” if Bachmann has her way.

Because of the emotional nature of any suggestion that seniors’ benefits will be taken away, it’s important to clarify that Bachmann would grandfather in current recipients. Clark implied otherwise in the previous ad and you decide for yourself whether she implies it again here. I would say she sorta does.

Bashing Republicans for wanting to privatize Social Security is one of the oldest tricks in the Democratic playbook, but that doesn’t make it untrue. In Bachmann’s case, it is true, compounded by her unwillingness to clarify her Social Security position.

Clark also takes no clear position on how to change Social Security to address its long-term projected shortfall. She argues that helping the economy is the best medicine for Social Security.

Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Brian Simon on 10/08/2010 - 11:46 am.

    While I don’t care for Rep Bachmann & can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d ever cast a vote for her, Clark is running a campaign only marginally superior to those of Tink & Wetterling.

  2. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/08/2010 - 12:23 pm.

    You are right, Eric, Bachmann never said she wanted to privatize Social Security. Bachmann wants to abolish Social Security:

    So if Bachmann denies that this is true, let her remind people of her true position.

    Tarryl Clark may not be running much of a better campaign than Tink or Patty, but I don’t think any Democrat can beat Bachmann in this district. Bachmann’s narrowminded and fanatical base will accuse this ad which is factual and challenging for Bachmann to come clean with her true position, as being “hateful” because they don;t like hearing the truth. I think this is a good ad because it speaks to people outside the district and will remind people of what a catastrophe a victory for the right would be for the nation and why they must lose on November 2.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/09/2010 - 10:19 am.

    I don’t know if she’ll win but I think Clark is running the most effective campaign against Bachmann that we’ve ever seen. It doesn’t really matter what Bachmann is actually saying because she can’t be trusted, she has no integrity. That doesn’t give one license to fabricate statements but if you’re a senior or someone else currently getting benefits, and you trust that if Bachmann were to get way she’d never cut or reduce your benefits, you need to have your head examined. Some liberal’s don’t seem to understand that sometimes you need to put up a fight, keep your integrity, but fight. It may not be pretty, but there’s a lot at stake here.

    Bachmann’s clear objective has always been to dismantle Social Security and she’ll say whatever she thinks she needs to say at any given time to anyone to reach her objectives. All Clark is doing it pointing to a clear trend and tendency in Bachmann’s thinking and positions. The idea of “grandfathering” current recipients is a rather vague proposal that Bachmann can wiggle out of a million different ways if she wants to in the future. Let’s put it this way, can you imagine Bachman fighting to preserve a huge government program under any circumstances ever?

    Has anyone seen any recent polls in the Clark-Bachmann race?

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/09/2010 - 10:26 am.

    Sadly, I fear for a motivated majority of the residents of the 6th, motivated by their clergy, that is, who will tell them to go out and “vote for life,” the misery Mickey’s approach to the economy and society in general has already inflicted on them will not be nearly as important as what Mickey has done for the “UNborn.”

    Of course she hasn’t really done $%^#@%$% for the unborn, either, but she really, really WANTS to!

    The clergy members of the majority of this population have been beating into their heads, ever since Roe V Wade came down, that, even if there are no jobs, even if they’re starving to death, even if they have no health care, none of that matters because they’ll get that wonderful “pie in the sky when they die” if they just make sure that EVERY uniting of sperm and egg, develops for the next nine months and becomes a BORN infant.

    Of course, as soon as that infant draws it’s first breath and becomes “a living being (by receiving the “breath of God” – it’s soul, Genesis 2:7), the life, ministry and teachings of Jesus regarding our treatment of each other go right out the window and it becomes it’s own problem and that of its parents.

    Of course, in cases where it’s parents are undesirables of any and every stripe, it is that infant’s own fault (and God’s will?) that it be relinquished, unmourned and unprotected, to live in whatever conditions the lives of those parents allow, no matter how difficult or punishing those might be.

    So, sadly, even in these very difficult economic times, it’s likely that Tarryl Clark can’t be elected in the 6th because she is “pro choice” whereas Micky is rabidly antiabortion.

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/09/2010 - 12:57 pm.

    Shorter Black: “This ad is misleading and false; but in *this* case….”

    Eric didn’t even get damp on his last pass over the shark (, so he’s doing it backwards and one handed now.

    Hey, why not?

  6. Submitted by Francis Ferrell on 10/09/2010 - 01:58 pm.

    What ever happen to Minnesota Nice in politics? Better yet, why aren’t the voters demanding hard stone cold “FACTS” on the various issues that affect their lives?

    In this modern day of instant information from all sorts of ethereal cyber-sources, ersatz pundits, and an insatiable ‘yellow press’ media outlets why isn’t the citizenry researching or educating themselves to finding the real truths behind the political election rigmarole? Don’t say there isn’t enough time to do so!

    Even the very Constitutional principles that set the standards for how we are governed and how we legislate are being degraded by the way we are becoming ignorant of such precepts. We are “Mad as hell…”, the Tea Partyers tell us, “…and not going to take [the status quo] any more!”, but where are the hard stone cold factual arguments to back up this anger?

    When you have political parties clamoring to redefine themselves over political correcting their core precepts and core ideological values no wonder one sees a gallimauphried mess! The Tea Party and Independent Party movements fair no better. Is this the new 21st Century American political picture?

    This election will be a difficult one for Minnesota voters. The mud slinging, attack ads, and personal attacks by candidates is making this for voters’–a proverbial electoral “crap shoot”! Where is the concrete factual substance to what is being debated? More questions; but, where are the answers?

    In the 6th Congressional District, you have an example of what has I stated and questioned here. Without going into a lengthy discourse let’s say facts and truth are in short supply in this emotional and volatile Congressional race. The mud is still flying.

    The gubernatorial race maybe a bit better executed in decorum, style or effect but the stone cold hard facts and possible stalwart economic remedies seem in short supply to be fully stated.

    How can anyone be elected on such shallow nebulous arguments and inaccuracies as the attack ads promulgate? As you can see this voter/commenter has a multitude of questions with no answers in sight. Finding or knowing the definitive answers is like searching for Diogenes on his quest for a righteous person and righteousness.

  7. Submitted by Hal Sanders on 10/09/2010 - 07:32 pm.

    Anyone defending Clark’s ad campaign is looking at it with one eye shut.

  8. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/09/2010 - 09:18 pm.

    Huh??? The issue is not the ad; it’s THE ISSUE!

    I can’t imagine an ad that does any more than ask the question: is Bachmann (and are you) in favor of abolishing Social Security? I think this leads to an obvious follow up: if so why?

    Bachmann says she’s in favor of abolishing it. She hasn’t given any reasons why she favors destroying the most successful government program but has evaded the question in this election. What’s your answer?

  9. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 10/11/2010 - 09:24 am.

    A few weeks ago I emailed Clark’s campaign to complain because th only ads she had run Were about office expenses. I thought she should go hard and negative in order to fight fire with fire. I’m glad she is doing that now. The Republicans love it when the Democrats fight fair because the have no compunction to do so. I love the new Clark ad. The only way they could do better would be to run footage of Clark hugging and hanging onto Bush

    It is interesting and obvious why Bachmann won’t debate until just before the election. It will allow her to lie and exaggerate at will and not be fact-checked until after the election.

  10. Submitted by John E Iacono on 10/11/2010 - 01:20 pm.

    All these negative ads are just preaching to the choir. Unfortunately for Clark her choir is not big enough in that district.

    The rest are just turned off by the ads, seeing the half-truths for what they are.

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