President Biden on Saturday said people holding signs calling him a socialist were idiots, while warning that Republicans want to cut health care benefits for Americans three days before Election Day.
“Social security and Medicare are more than government programs, they’re a promise. They’re a promise. Work hard and contribute and when the time comes, things will be easier for you,” he said in remarks at Jones Elementary in Joliet, Ill. “It’s a rock-solid guarantee, an iron-clad commitment. Generations of Americans have counted on it and it works.”
“I love those signs when I came in — socialism. Give me a break, what idiots,” the president added. “No one ever doubts I mean what I say, sometimes of course I say all that I mean.”
There were dozens of protesters standing beside the road to the elementary school with signs bearing comments ranging from “Let’s go Brandon,” to “where’s Nancy,” as well as “socialism sucks.”
The president warned in his remarks that millions of Americans would lose health care coverage, benefits and protections under congressional Republicans’ plans. Some Republicans have pledged to repeal aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed earlier this year with only support from Democrats, if they take control of Congress this midterm cycle.
“Everything I just talked about — $2,000 cap on prescription drugs, $35 a month cap on insulin, more power for Medicare to lower drug prices — all gone, all gone if they succeed,” Biden said. “Well, they’re not going to succeed at least for the next two years because I’ll veto it.”
He warned that congressional Republicans “are also coming for your Social Security and Medicare benefits.” He mentioned a proposal released in February by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) that included a proposal to sunset government programs every five years, meaning lawmakers would need to vote to extend Medicare and Social Security.
“I mean, what’s with these guys?” Biden asked. “In other words, it goes out of existence if we don’t vote to keep it, isn’t that wonderful?”
Additionally, he noted that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) suggested earlier this year that funding for Social Security and Medicare should be approved yearly through the budgeting process.
The president was joined for his remarks in Illinois by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), as well as Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.).
Biden has recently ramped up his warnings that Republicans would stop health care benefits, along with pre-Election Day warnings that inflation would be worse under a Republican-controlled Congress.
The president on Tuesday made a similar plea in Florida, when he focused his remarks on how a Republican-controlled Congress could threaten Social Security and Medicare benefits for millions of Americans.
Following his visit to Illinois, Biden will head to Philadelphia for a rally with former President Obama to boost Democratic senatorial candidate John Fetterman.
The Illinois stop is another on a list of typically blue strongholds the president is visiting in the days before Election Day on Tuesday. He also traveled to New Mexico and California this week and will make stops in New York on Sunday and Maryland on Monday.
Source: The Hill
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