The Corner

Pawlenty: Perry’s Social Security Views Make Him Unelectable

In a Politico op-ed out today, Tim Pawlenty warns Republicans against nominating someone who can’t win the general election. While he doesn’t name names, he pretty clearly singles out Rick Perry by bringing up Social Security:

We should not give Obama a major additional advantage by nominating a vulnerable candidate. That would be a historic missed opportunity for the conservative movement — and the cause to restore America.

Social Security, for example, provides a vital safety net for millions of Americans. While Romney has long seen that Social Security has severe, long-term financial problems, he favors saving and protecting the program by fixing those problems.

He has not denounced the program — as some have done — and called it unconstitutional. He has not proposed that Social Security be turned over to state governments. Those are untenable positions and would cost Republicans dearly in the election.

Meanwhile, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney continue to duel over Social Security. In a FoxNews.com op-ed today, Romney again accused Perry of wanting to “dismantle” Social Security. Perry, in his own FoxNews.com op-ed, positions himself as being honest about Social Security (although not wanting to change the program for current and soon-to-be beneficiaries) and accuses Romney of “hit[ting] the campaign trail sounding like those old Democrats intent on scaring seniors with falsehoods and distortions.”

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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