President Joe Biden spent Thursday in Tampa to drive home his pledge to protect Social Security and Medicare.
The White House hopes this stop could boost Biden with seniors in the state.
It was clear the political knives were out, with seniors in the middle. The president came to Tampa to highlight a difference between Democrats and Republicans.
On the visitors’ seats were flyers telling of a plan by U.S. Senator Rick Scott from Florida to create five-year sunshine clauses on federal laws.
Critics say that would mean that every five years, congress would have to renew plans for Medicare and Social Security, which could lead to cuts.
The president says his administration wants to protect and strengthen Medicare.
“There are millions of Americans not on Medicare, millions. Including 200,000 young people with type one diabetes who need this insulin to save their lives. Let’s finish the job,” said Biden.
As for Senator Rick Scott, he says he has no plan to cut or reduce Medicare or Social Security benefits and says no Republican does.
“Nobody believes I want to cut Medicare and Social Security. I’ve never said it. I don’t believe that. I think we’ve gotta preserve those benefits. I wrote the plan, and I’ve been very clear about it. Anybody asks me, and I’ve been very clear about it. Nobody believes that I have a goal of reducing. I don’t know any Republicans who want to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits,” said Scott.
WINK News spoke with several students on the University of Tampa campus about what they wanted to hear from the president.
“Specifically. I’m a college kid—live paycheck to paycheck. So the price of eggs has gone up gas. The opinion from him is that it is going down, but I see it going up. So I would like to know about that stuff,” said Giiulio Ciaschi.
“I want to know more about the crime rates in the United States. Are they going up or down, and how to fix it,” said McKenzie Oreccchio.
“I will not cut a single Social Security or Medicare benefit. In fact, I’m going to extend the Medicare trust fund for at least two decades,” Biden said.
The president hit on those issues, including the economy and the debt ceiling. He circled back to social issues, driving the point home that sunset clauses, which, if passed, would put an expiration date on federal laws or programs, and cuts to Social Security and Medicare are off the table.
“Make no mistake about it, if they try to increase the cost of prescription drugs or abolish the Affordable Care Act, I will veto it,” said Biden.
If Thursday was any indication, one thing is for sure; it will be a fiery 18 months leading up to the next presidential election.