Oct 4, 2012 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits
Excerpted from The Daily Mail: Barack Obama claimed that the AARP had endorsed his plans to reform Medicare during the first presidential debate in Denver last night.
But just a few hours later the senior citizens’ group spoke out to deny that it was supporting the President, and insisted that it did not wish to be drawn into the political horse-race.
The rejection of his message came as another blow for Mr Obama, who has been widely pilloried for his underwhelming performance in a debate which most commentators agreed was won by Mitt Romney.
Minutes later, he made another reference to the powerful organisation which represents close to 40million elderly Americans.
‘When you move to a voucher system, you are putting seniors at the mercy of insurance companies,’ Mr Obama argued. ‘And over time, if traditional Medicare has decayed or fallen apart, then they’re stuck.
‘And this is the reason why AARP has said that your plan would weaken Medicare substantially. And that’s why they were supportive of the approach that we took.’
But in a statement issued late on Wednesday night, senior vice-president John Hishta rejected the link between the AARP and the President’s re-election campaign.
AARP Website: Denver, CO—Earlier this evening the Presidential candidates discussed AARP, Social Security and Medicare during the first Presidential debate of the 2012 general election. AARP, a sponsor of activities at all four of the 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, released the following statement in response. AARP Senior Vice President John Hishta said:
“We’re grateful that this evening the candidates engaged in a more robust conversation with regard to Medicare. We’re also pleased Social Security was included in tonight’s debate. But America’s voters deserve more than talking points and 30-second sound bites. Our members and older Americans want to hear how the candidates would strengthen Social Security, Medicare, and financial security, and we encourage the candidates to offer more specifics about their plans before Election Day.
“Across party lines, older voters say that getting more information on the candidates’ plans on these crucial economic security programs will help them determine their vote. We know that our members vote, and they want the candidates to tell them how they’ll fix Medicare and Social Security for them, their kids and their grandkids.
“Earlier this year, we launched You’ve Earned a Say, a national conversation on the future of Social Security and Medicare, to engage people in communities across the country so they have the pros and cons of proposals currently on the table in Washington and on the campaign trail.
“While we respect the rights of each campaign to make its case to voters, AARP has never consented to the use of its name by any candidate or political campaign. AARP is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates nor coordinate with any candidate or political party.
“We remain focused on providing voters with balanced information on where candidates stand on the key issues, so they can make their own decisions on Election Day. For more information on where the candidates stand on premium support and other Medicare topics discussed tonight, see AARP’s Voters’ Guides at http://vote.aarp.org.”