Two organizations are teaming up to take a swing at Marco Rubio over Social Security.
Senate Majority PAC and AFSCME PEOPLE released a new ad campaign Wednesday highlighting Rubio’s position on Medicare and Social Security. The 30-second spot is meant to point out Rubio’s calls for cuts to Social Security and votes to privatize Medicare, according to the Senate Majority PAC.
“Marco Rubio’s reckless plans for Social Security and Medicare might be great for his campaign contributors, but they’re wrong for Florida,” said Shripal Shah, a spokesman for Senate Majority PAC, in a statement. “Rubio’s agenda is just further proof that for him, his political ambitions and campaign contributors always come first.”
Rubio has said he supported making changes to Social Security and Medicare. However, Rubio also has said changes wouldn’t disrupt the people currently receiving the programs. According to the Alliance for Retired Americans, Rubio in January said if lawmakers don’t do something to fix the system “there will be no Social Security or Medicare by the time you retire — even by the time I retire.”
“We can fix this, but what it will take is I’m going to have to retire at 68 instead of 67 and if I’ve made a lot of money, my Social Security is not going to grow as fast as people that made less money, and my Medicare money will be the option of buying a private plan that you like better,” the Alliance for Retired Americans reported he said at the time. “These are not unreasonable changes for people that are 25 years away from retirement or 45 years away from retirement, and if we do that we can save these programs and balance our budget.”
The 30-second spot — called “Weakens Us” — claims Rubio is supporting the changes because they would support the insurance industry.
“Marco Rubio wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare because he said they’re bankrupting our country. But that’s what politicians say when the insurance industry bankrolls their campaigns. Marco Rubio’s taken almost $1 million from the insurance industry, which would profit from his privatization plans,” a narrator says in the advertisement. “It’s not the programs that have weakened us, it’s the politicians who put profits ahead of us.”
Rubio faces Rep. Patrick Murphy in the November general election. The race is one of several closely watched races across the country, and could be key to determining control of the U.S. Senate. Outside groups, including the Senate Majority PAC, have already committed to spending a substantial sum in Florida.
“Marco’s own mother relies on Social Security as her sole source of income. Marco would never do anything to hurt his mother or the millions of Florida seniors who depend on Social Security and Medicare, and he’ll continue to fight to strengthen the programs for future generations,” said Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for Rubio, in a statement. “What voters deserve to know is that Patrick Murphy stood by the AFSCME when it led the opposition to Marco’s VA Accountability Act of 2015, which would have made it easier to fire incompetent VA employees. Florida veterans can’t afford someone who puts union bosses ahead of working for them.”
In May, the Senate Majority PAC — a super PAC aiming to get a Democratic majority in the Senate — announced it had reserved $10.5 million in TV time in Florida this fall. At the time, Morning Consult reported the super PAC had also reserved time in New Hampshire, Nevada, and Ohio.