The Corner

No ‘Ponzi Scheme’ Rhetoric for Bachmann

While the debate rages on about whether calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” alienates swing voters, Michele Bachmann made it clear in an interview with Radio Iowa today that she would not using similar rhetoric:

Without naming competitor Rick Perry (although I did in the questions), Bachmann said federal policymakers have to “keep faith” with current Social Security beneficiaries.  ”That’s wrong for any candidate to make senior citizens believe that they should be nervous about something they have come to count on. We need not do that, but I think at the same time we also outline our positive solutions,” Bachmann said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Bachmann later said in the interview that she believes Social Security needs to be “reformed and modified,” but didn’t offer specific details.

“This an 80-year-growing problem and this is one that will require a bipartisan solution, Republicans and Democrats coming together,” she added. “It was Republicans and Democrats who both voted to create Social Security and they’ll have to come together to make it solvent. I know we can.”

It’s interesting how much more carefully Bachmann is speaking than Perry. From the beginning of her campaign, she’s watched about how she talks about entitlement programs, and it sounds like she has no intention of switching her style. 

At the same time, unlike the Romney campaign — which blasted out an e-mail yesterday with the subject line, “RICK PERRY: RECKLESS, WRONG ON SOCIAL SECURITY” — the Bachmann campaign doesn’t appear to be trying to use Perry’s rhetoric on Social Security against him.

Katrina TrinkoKatrina 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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