As Nancy Pelosi likes to say, "Elections have consequences."
One of the consequences of Republicans winning these elections and maintaining majorities in both houses of Congress is that Bush is going after social security. Again.
In an interview at the White House today, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo asked Bush what is on his agenda for his last two years in office:
BARTIROMO: In addition to those issues, we also talked about C.E.O. compensation. He said he was floored by some of the numbers out there that C.E.O.‘s are taking home. I also asked him what is on his agenda for his final two years in office and, among the topics, is Social Security. He is putting that back on the table.
He suggested that the privatization plan, that did not work for him last time, is not dead by any means. And he gave some detail as far as how that might work. In addition, when I asked him about the midterm elections specifically, he said it is not a referendum on Iraq. It is about the economy as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I think it‘s a referendum on a lot of things. I definitely think the economy is an issue. We will just see what happens. I believe we will hold the House and the Senate. No question, a strong economy is going to help our candidates. Primarily because they have something to run on. They can say our economy is good because I voted for tax relief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: And finally, I asked him about the revolution going on in media. And I actually, Chris, asked him if he ever has Googled anybody. He says he does use Google. He doesn‘t e-mail, but he uses Google to look at the ranch. He likes Google Maps.
MATTHEWS: Well, I don‘t know what to make of those points from him. He seems like he was overwhelmed by your presence or something. I‘m serious Maria, he doesn‘t seem to be totally focused in those interviews. Those weren‘t very sharp answers.
BARTIROMO: Well, he was very focused on the economy. And I think that he is not necessarily trying to change the conversation from Iraq to the economy, but I think that his advisors are telling him that he is not getting any credit for an economy that has been strengthening. And, of course, another thing is that he said—I said look, if you actually -- if your party does retain control of both houses, are you going push to make those tax cuts permanent and he said absolutely.
MATTHEWS: Well, I think you made news, just as a news junkie here, because you got to him to bring back the personal accounts of Social Security back on to the front table. I assume that some of those Democratic candidates from working class or middle class neighborhoods, which is most of the country, will be saying, here he goes again. He wants to tamper with Social Security. You put a story back in play, and I don‘t know why he would want to put that back in play right before an election, with older people especially.
BARTIROMO: It was definitely one of his priorities. He said the other priority is finding alternatives to oil. I said look, has the momentum been lost, or slowed in any way, given the fact that now gasoline is back below $2.00 a gallon in some areas. He says no, at all, that they are still very hot on Ethanol and hybrids.
MATTHEWS: Yes, I am not sure Dick Cheney wants to find an alternative to oil. Any way, thank you very much Maria Bartiromo. I‘m serious, what a great get for you today.
BARTIROMO: Thank you.
From TCA five months ago:
All that Republicans have to do is get past the mid-term elections (five-and-a-half months from now) and keep both houses of Congress (more likely than not) in order to be "home-free" - no hearings, no investigations, pass the rest of the Bush-Republican agenda (more tax and economic reform favoring the wealthy, massive sell-off and privatization of America's resources, Patriot Act II with more elimination of our civil liberties, elimination of social security and medicare and other programs, etc.) and Bush can write his own legacy.
Bush just put social security back into play as an election issue.
Will Democratic candidates use Bush's declaration in their campaigns? Will the DNC make it into an ad? Will the media follow up, and ask Republican candidates about privatizing (destroying) social security?
Filed under: elections, economics, election 2006, tax cuts, Maria Bartiromo, social security, Bush, The Constant American, Constant American, Technorati Tag, Technorati Tags, tags, categories