The prominent conservative group Club for Growth has criticized former President Trump for his approach to Social Security, arguing the former president has the same policy as President Biden.
“Joe Biden and Donald Trump have the same plan for Social Security: Cut 20 percent or more,” a new ad from the group said.
The jab at Trump over Social Security comes as entitlement programs have made headlines as Republicans and Democrats jostle with one another in negotiations over the debt ceiling and spending cuts. It continues a fight that is playing out in the Republican party as the 2024 primary gets underway.
While some GOP figures have signaled a willingness to consider reforms to Medicare and Social Security, others, like Trump, have attacked them for that stance, saying they would not make any changes to the programs and framing it to voters as a plan to cut their benefits.
“Under no circumstances will we allow anyone to cut Medicare or Social Security for our nation’s seniors,” Trump said in a speech last month to Club 47, a nonprofit group supporting his re-election, in Florida. “We’re not going to allow that. They paid in, and you can’t allow it, and you shouldn’t allow it.”
But the Club for Growth, which has distanced itself from Trump in recent months, flipped the approach on its head, arguing a plan to not touch the program at all is a plan to have it sliced by at least 20 percent.
A federal report this year showed that the trust funds that back Social Security will be depleted by 2034, implementing an automatic reduction in the level of benefits that are paid out. The Club for Growth ad takes aim at this dynamic, arguing Trump’s plan to not touch the program is actually a plan to allow it to be cut in a decade.
Trump fired back at the organization on social media late on Sunday, labeling it “globalist, China hawking and RINO infiltrated.”
“Which now wants to give up backing Ron DeSanctimonious because they realize there is no personality or people skills there, are beside themselves, and just don’t know what to do,” Trump said in the post on his Truth Social platform, using his preferred nickname for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a possible challenger for the GOP presidential nomination.
“Florida has the Sun & the Ocean, and was GREAT long before I put Ron there,” Trump added. “The semi-elite ‘No Growthers’ are considering sending Ron to the great Walter Reed Medical Center for an emergency personality transplant. His poll numbers are crashing!”
—Updated at 10:34 a.m.