Earlier this week, we learned that in his new memoir, The Courage to Be Free, Ron DeSantis has a number of very nice things to say about Donald Trump. Unfortunately for the governor of Florida, his would-be 2024 opponent has not returned the favor, and by “not returned the favor,” we mean Trump has decided to follow up his recent suggestion that a 20-something DeSantis groomed high school girls…by claiming the guy will send seniors to an early grave if elected president.
On Tuesday, Trump logged on to Truth Social and told his followers: “Great Poll numbers are springing forth for your favorite President, me, against Ron DeSanctus (& Biden). I guess people are finding out that he wanted to CUT SOCIAL SECURITY & RAISE THE MINIMUM AGE TO AT LEAST 70, at least 4 times. LIKEWISE WITH MEDICARE, WANTED BIG CUTS. HE IS A WHEELCHAIR OVER THE CLIFF KIND OF GUY, JUST LIKE HIS HERO, failed politician Paul Ryan, the FoxNews ratings destroyer who led Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign down the tubes. GLOBALIST’S ALL! WE WANT AMERICA FIRST!!!”
Trump isn’t right about a lot of things, but he is correct in his claim that former House Speaker Paul Ryan famously dreamed of gutting Medicare and Social Security, as well as Medicaid and other key aspects of the social safety net—which he once described as a “hammock that lulls able-bodied people into complacency and dependence.” Sadly for Ryan, not enough people in Congress wanted to commit political suicide, and he retired before he could get the job done.
As for DeSantis, the Florida governor has been less direct than Ryan about his lust for doing away with programs millions of people rely on (and in many cases, pay into). But it’s not hard to see where his head’s at, since he:
- Per Semafor, “Voted for a series of budget resolutions crafted by the conservative Republican Study Committee that would have voucherized Medicare for new beneficiaries, slowed Social Security cost-of-living increases, and raised the retirement age for both programs” during his time in Congress;
- Received, according to The Washington Post, “a 0 percent rating from the Alliance for Retired Americans, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO,” and said during debt-limit negotiations in 2013 that Social Security and Medicare should be part of the negotiations;
- Commented the same year: “I think we need to restructure some of these entitlements”;
- Said in 2012: “I support what Ryan is trying to do in terms of reforming entitlements.”
And what of Trump’s position on all this? Well, he is currently painting himself as a defender of Medicare and Social Security and, according to Ryan, refused to pursue cuts to “entitlements” while in office because they weren’t popular. However, the ex-president apparently forgets that in 2019, he reportedly discussed gutting Medicare as a potential “second-term project.” Or that, in 2020, he was asked if such cuts would ever be on his “plate,” and responded, out loud: “At some point they will be.”