President Joe Biden traveled to Florida on Thursday, where he pitched his Democratic Party as the sole defender of the Social Security and Medicare program for people over 65, in a bid to win the state , which has a large number of retirees who rely on these programs.
In conversation with a group of supporters living in a state that was previously classified as a swinger. However, in recent years, Florida has increasingly leaned toward Republicans. During the meeting, Biden outlined a list of his administration’s accomplishments, including the ability for the federal government to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers for Medicare customers and set price caps for insulin. . He said Republicans were fighting to scale back those efforts and also pushing for cuts to popular safety net programs.
“I know a lot of Republicans dream of cutting Social Security and Medicare,” Biden said.
Florida was just one of at least 20 states the president and members of his cabinet visited immediately after his address to Congress on Tuesday.
Biden plans to announce his re-election for a second term soon. Democratic strategists are debating how seriously he should campaign in Florida, where the last Democratic candidate for president in 2012 was Barack Obama.
Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are among the favorites for the Republican nomination in the next presidential election in 2024. Both will have an advantage over Biden in Florida.
However, Biden thinks his policies could resonate in a state where one in five residents is over 65. Polls show that Democrats, in the opinion of voters, are more committed to protecting social welfare and health care programs for seniors.
Biden has sought to tie Republicans to the idea of cutting funding for both programs as part of talks to raise the public debt ceiling by $31.4 trillion.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has repeatedly said his party will not try to roll back two of the biggest social programs.
The White House has not provided a detailed plan to fund the programs after their insolvency. This is expected to happen as early as 2028 if inpatient benefits are introduced for Medicare customers.
At an event in Tampa, the White House distributed a pamphlet criticizing Republican Florida Senator Rick Scott’s “Bailout Plan for America,” which proposes requiring reauthorization of Medicare programs and social security every five years.
“The idea of a senator from Florida wanting to abolish Social Security and Medicare every five years strikes me as a bit outrageous,” Biden said.
Scott, who claims Biden is misrepresenting his plan, released political promotional material this week calling on Biden to step down and accusing him of being a danger to the president’s own social programs.
Florida, the nation’s third most populous state, has long been considered an important “swing state” in presidential elections.
However, last year Republican DeSantis was successfully re-elected to a second term, beating his Democratic rival by nearly 20%.
“At this point, there is no reason to send public resources to Florida in 2024,” a senior Democratic official told Reuters at a recent party conference in Philadelphia.
Biden has said he intends to run for a second term and is expected to formally submit his candidacy in the coming weeks.
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