Trump-Aligned PAC Launches Attack Ad Targeting DeSantis’s Votes to Cut Social Security, Medicare

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A Trump-aligned super PAC on Friday launched a 30-second television ad attacking Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s record of advocating for cuts to Social Security and Medicare — despite the former president’s own record of backing similar cuts.

“Think you know Ron DeSantis?” the MAGA Inc., ad begins. “Think again. In Congress, DeSantis voted three separate times to cut Social Security.”

“Worse? DeSantis voted to cut medicare two times,” adds the tv spot, which will run on Fox News, CNN and Newsmax.

The MAGA Inc. tv spot concludes: “The more you see about DeSantis, the more you see he doesn’t share our values. He’s not ready to be president.”

MAGA Inc., will pay more than $1.3 million for one week worth of airtime, according to AdImpact data obtained by Politico.

The ad comes after the Washington Examiner previously reported that Trump’s advisers believe DeSantis’s track record of voting to cut funding for Social Security and Medicare as a congressman is ripe for criticism. 

DeSantis voted for three non-binding resolutions between 2013 and 2015 that called for raising the retirement age to 70 and reducing benefits for millions of earners.

The governor seemed to walk back his previous support for raising the retirement age as well as privatizing Social Security earlier this month. “We’re not going to mess with Social Security as Republicans,” he told Fox News. “I think that that’s pretty clear.”

In January, Trump called on Republican lawmakers not to “cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security” when they began negotiations with President Biden and Democrats over a measure to raise the debt ceiling.

“Cut waste, fraud, and abuse everywhere that we can find it, and there is plenty of it. . . . But do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save Social Security. Don’t destroy it,” Trump said at the time.

But that wasn’t always Trump’s perspective. His 2020 budget proposal includes cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. The proposal included an aim to spend $25 billion less on Social Security in the next decade and $845 billion less on Medicare over that same period of time. The proposal also would have allocated $1.2 trillion in a block-grant program to states for Medicaid, in an effort to spend $1.5 trillion less on that program over ten years.

Trump’s attacks on DeSantis’s entitlement record resemble those leveled by Adam Putnam during the 2018 Florida gubernatorial primary.Left-leaning Politifact classified the attacks as misleading given that DeSantis voted for non-binding budget resolutions that, even if adopted, would not have changed federal law and would not have therefore cut benefits for any Americans.

The ad comes before DeSantis has formally said whether he plans to run against Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. It also launches one day after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump in connection with a hush-money payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels, making Trump the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges.

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