Ed Rendell to Paul Ryan: ‘Medicare and Social Security made this country the envy of the world’


Up until Thursday’s vice presidential debate, it would have been easy for a voter to believe that both Obama and Romney’s campaigns have similar plans for Social Security and Medicare. Fortunately, Paul Ryan has clarified his argument by doubling down on his ambitions to privatize Social Security.

On Friday’s PoliticsNation, Rev. Al Sharpton talked to former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne about what that means for the election. They concurred that, as Rendell put it, Romney can “either repudiate his running mate or say privatization is on the table.”

If privatization is indeed on the table, the Romney campaign can expect voters, especially seniors, to sit up and take notice. On Thursday, Vice President Biden pointed out the Social Security and Medicare have never been overwhelmingly popular with Republicans. Rendell reaffirmed the notion, saying the choice for people concerned for the future of these programs should now be plainly evident: 

“When Medicare and Social Security were being debated in the ‘30s and the ‘60s, Republicans called it socialized medicine. They never liked Medicare. They never liked Social Security. They warned that it was going to drag us into the ditch. Well, Medicare and Social Security made this country the envy of the world because our seniors know that they are going to be protected.

Governor Romney tries to sort of hide the plans on Social Security and Medicare, but the truth came out last night. Joe Biden said it right: who do you trust? The party that has always been there, protecting Social Security through the years or people who have hated it from the beginning and want to change it?”