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Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Social Security Blame Game Begins

Senator Santorum is blaming the White House for the failure of Social Security reform.  If they would have listened to him, things would be different:

Santorum takes Bush to task over Social Security strategy, by Maeve Reston, Post-Gazette:  Frustrated by Congress' failure to move on ... Social Security problems, Sen. Rick Santorum yesterday said ... the White House had made a "fundamental error" in handling its public relations campaign... Santorum, R-Pa., said he had struggled to understand President Bush's decision to come out "right after the campaign ... with this mandate that you're going to change the sacred cow of the [political] left, who've just been energized beyond belief.  You've just defeated your opponent, and, you know, you take a 3-iron to the beehive ... You go out there and whack the beehive, and you wonder why all these bees are buzzing around your head. And not only do you whack the beehive, but then you don't do anything [more] for two months." Santorum … said that as soon as White House officials told him that they were going to roll out Social Security reform initiatives in 2004, he urged them to construct a plan on the order of a presidential campaign, believing that "it was bigger than anything we've tried to do." In an interview ... last evening, Santorum said he "pleaded" with administration officials to develop and launch a strategy to convey the issue's importance to the public immediately, and even to forgo Christmas breaks to ensure that a plan was in place. But the White House preferred to wait until Bush's State of the Union address Feb. 2, a strategy that made it difficult for GOP senators to build support for Social Security changes among their constituents, Santorum said. Foes of the reforms "didn't waste" the holiday breaks, he said. "They started hammering on the president, basically starting to tear this apart in December. What [the White House] needed to do immediately was what they did three months later, which was to lay out the problem and get ahead of the curve. "It's the old thing in politics: ... we sat back and let our opponents define us and define the issue," he said. "We were just playing catch up the whole time, and that was the fundamental error."… Santorum said he was continuing to getting mixed signals from House GOP leaders about whether they will move on reform legislation in the near future...

    Posted by on Thursday, September 22, 2005 at 01:51 PM in Economics, Politics, Social Security | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (10)

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