Watch Barack Obama Attack a GOP Senator for Eyeing Social Security Cuts

“You know why they have Social Security? Because they worked for it.”

Former President Barack Obama campaigns for Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Milwaukee.Morry Gash/AP

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Barack Obama is campaigning in key battleground states for Democrats ahead of the midterm election. And in remarks Saturday, as he laid into Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) for threatening cuts to Social Security benefits, the former president reminded everyone of just how good a communicator he is.

“Some of you here are on Social Security,” Obama said in a packed gymnasium at a Milwaukee high school, in support of Wisconsin Democrats, Governor Tony Evers, and the state’s Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, who is challenging Johnson. “Some of your parents are on Social Security. Some of your grandparents are on Social Security. You know why they have Social Security? Because they worked for it,” Obama said, drawing cries of “yes” and loud applause. “They worked hard jobs for it. They have chapped hands for it. They had long hours and sore backs and bad knees to get that Social Security.” 

“And if Ron Johnson does not understand that,” the former president continued. “If he understands giving tax breaks for private planes more than he understands making sure that seniors who’ve worked all their lives are able to retire with dignity and respect—he’s not the person who’s thinking about you, and knows you, and sees you, and he should not be your senator from Wisconsin.”

In his efforts to boost Democratic turnout on November 8, Obama also campaigned in Detroit Saturday for Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the day after he attending a rally in Georgia for Sen. Raphael Warnock and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Next on his schedule is Nevada on Tuesday, where he will campaign for Democrats including Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, whose race against Republican Adam Laxalt—who has embraced Donald Trump’s election fraud lies—is a dead heat. On the Saturday before the election, Obama will join his former Vice President, now President Joe Biden, in the critically important state of Pennsylvania. 

In Milwaukee, the former president argued that Republicans hope to take advantage of inflation and other economic problems without offering real proposals for addressing them. “When gas prices go up, when grocery prices go up, that takes a bite out of people’s paycheck. That hurts,” Obama said. “But the question you should be asking is: Who’s going to do something about it? Republicans are having a field day running ads talking about it, but what is their actual solution to it?”

“I’ll tell you,” he continued. “They want to gut Social Security, then Medicare, and then give some more tax breaks to the wealthy.”

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FACT:

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2022 demands.

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