White House mocks Rick Scott and Republicans claiming to oppose Social Security and Medicare cuts

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Susan Walsh/AP

White House mocks Rick Scott and Republicans claiming to oppose Social Security and Medicare cuts

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The White House is not letting go of its contention that Republicans plan to cut Social Security and Medicare after the senator at the center of this controversy amended his sunsetting plan to exempt the two entitlement programs specifically.

“His true colors are undeniable and on the record,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at Friday’s briefing. “They have been speaking out of both sides of their mouth here.”

Jean-Pierre mocked Republicans for getting religion on the subject of Social Security and Medicare after Biden rebuked them, once again mentioning Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

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“The president congratulates Sen. Scott on joining the post-State of the Union red wave,” she said, “as we have seen from Republicans acknowledging that they have in fact been attempting to put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block.”

Jean-Pierre, who often invokes the Hatch Act to avoid political questions, frequently pokes fun at the Republicans’ failure to achieve a “red wave” last year.

President Joe Biden clashed with congressional Republicans during the State of the Union over whether they would cut the two massive programs benefiting senior citizens.

“No, I tell you, I enjoy conversion,” Biden quipped as Republican lawmakers booed and jeered at his lines about Social Security and Medicare.

“So, folks, as we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the — off the books now, right?” Biden continued, veering off-script. They’re not to be touched? All right. All right. We got unanimity!”

But Biden made Republican cuts to entitlements one of the main arguments for Democrats during the midterm elections, alongside legal abortion, and especially made an example of Scott, who chaired the Senate GOP’s campaign arm that cycle. He has said Republicans would cut Social Security and Medicare during the debt ceiling fight as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claimed otherwise.

Scott has always denied that his plan to sunset legislation would have had an effect on Medicare and Social Security. Others pointed out that the plan was never likely to become law and that there would be majorities in favor of keeping the entitlement programs if it somehow did. Other Republicans, including former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), distanced themselves.

After weeks of being Exhibit A of the Republicans’ supposed desire to slash entitlements, Scott revised his plan to exempt Social Security and Medicare specifically.

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A reporter asked Jean-Pierre at the briefing on Friday whether that would be the end of the discussion on the subject.

“What do you think?” Jean-Pierre responded with a laugh.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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