Toomey Ignores Social Security Attack, Assails Spending

Posted August 14, 2010 at 5:00am

President Barack Obama used his weekly radio address to attack the GOP over Social Security, but Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey in his response chose to sidestep the issue, hammering instead on the economy and Democrats’ “extravagant spending.”

Picking up a common Democratic theme in recent weeks, Obama warned that Republicans have an agenda to “privatize” Social Security and curtail health benefits for seniors.
Obama used the recent financial crises to bolster his point.

Workers “shouldn’t be worried that a sudden downturn in the stock market will put all you’ve worked so hard for — all you’ve earned — at risk,” Obama said, according to a prepared version of his remarks. “You should have the peace of mind of knowing that after meeting your responsibilities and paying into the system all your lives, you’ll get the benefits you deserve.”

Toomey, a former House Member running for the Senate in Pennsylvania, ignored Obama’s theme. Instead he complained about the cost of “bailout and stimulus programs” and cited the health care reform law as among the “spending sprees” enacted by “one-party extremists.”

Toomey fretted about the national debt and also called for tax cuts to spur the economy.

“Our strength does not come from bailouts and government spending,” Toomey said, according to an advance copy of his remarks. “It comes from a free enterprise system and the hard-working honest citizens who make it run.”

Toomey, who was among the most fiscally conservative Members during his tenure in the House, also took a swipe at President George W. Bush.

“To be fair, the bailouts were begun under the previous administration; but the crew that’s in charge now ramped them up when it was perfectly clear that they were not accomplishing what they were supposed to.”