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Trump says he’ll be ‘cutting’ Social Security — but here’s what he really revealed

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During a Fox News town hall Thursday night, President Donald Trump finally admitted what many have long feared — that he plans to push for serious cuts to entitlements, which includes Social Security and Medicare.

Of course, Trump has already admitted this in his budgets, even though he promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. (Trump has entirely dropped any pretense about seeking to cut Medicaid, which provides health insurance to people with low incomes.) In a recent interview, Trump also suggested that he intended to slash entitlements, though his phrasing was unclear, and it wasn’t obvious he understood the question. Later, he tried to walk this back after an outcry.

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But on Thursday, Trump was explicit:

Trump: The economy is the best economy we’ve ever had; it’s nothing compared to what it’s going to be when the trade deals kick it.

Host: But if you don’t cut something in entitlements, you’ll never really deal with the debt.

Trump: Oh, we’ll be cutting, but we’ll also have growth like you’ve never had before.

Now, there are a few things to notice here. First, observers fear that the economy is in serious peril because of the coronavirus outbreak. Second, Trump’s claims about the trade deals “kicking in” are completely bogus. No credible economists are predicting any significantly positive impacts from the minor changes Trump has made to existing trade deals. Third, Trump has already made ostentatious predictions about sky-high growth because of the 2017 GOP tax cuts and his administration’s deregulatory efforts, but these predictions have been consistently belied by a middling reality. He always wants to claim there’s something better just around the corner, like any con man.

On the topic of entitlement cuts, critics will likely point out that Trump is here committing to break a promise he’s made countless times. But the odd thing is that Trump knows cutting Social Security would be hard, and he knows there’s no political benefit to doing it — that’s why he pledged to protect the beloved program.

So why did Trump admit to wanting to cut it? His answer reveals his truly staggering level of suggestibility — at least around people he believes are his allies. When he hears it asserted that entitlements have to be cut, he wants to agree. This type of reaction bolsters much reporting indicating that Trump often agrees on a matter of policy with the last person who’s in the room with him. It also reflects his insecurity; he’s often not informed or confident enough in his own positions to adequately defend them, especially on technical matters like the national debt, so he’ll just concede the point.

Which should, of course, worry us at least as much as someone who is deeply committed to slashing entitlements. It means, as we’ve seen, that Trump is easily manipulated. And that’s a precarious trait for a president to possess.

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https://twitter.com/PodSaveAmerica/status/1235722574367084544


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2020 Election

George Floyd’s death returns spotlight to Sen. Amy Klobuchar prosecutor past

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MINNEAPOLIS — The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody this week has renewed concerns about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s time as a Hennepin County prosecutor as she is being vetted as a potential running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.The selection of Biden’s No. 2 is unfolding as many blacks — a key voting bloc for the party — are looking for Biden to show he is not taking black voters for granted and that his ticket can excite those who sat out the 2016 election.Klobuchar’s presidential bid was marked by an inability to gain inroads with black primary voters whil... (more…)

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2020 Election

Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham locked in dead heat with Democratic challenger in red South Carolina

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is locked in a dead heat in his bid to win re-election, a new online poll finds.

Graham, who has represented South Carolina in Congress since 1995 and held his Senate seat since 2003, has in recent months faced mounting pressure from Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. A new Civiqs poll released this week finds the two rivals tied at 42%.

A deeper dive into the poll reveals more possibly unnerving developments for Graham. Fifty-six percent of South Carolina voters have an unfavorable view of the senator, while only 35% have a positive view of him.

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2020 Election

‘Dead in the water’: Republicans fear Trump will lose in November and take vulnerable GOP senators with him

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In recent weeks, Democratic strategists have been encouraged not only by polls showing President Donald Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden (the presumptive Democratic nominee) but by signs Democrats have a shot at retaking the U.S. Senate. That doesn’t mean that Democrats should be overconfident; wise politicians campaign like they’re 15 or 20 points behind no matter how good they’re looking in polls.

But reporters Michael Warren and Ryan Nobles, in an article for CNN, emphasize that GOP operatives “are increasingly worried that Trump is headed for defeat in November and that he may drag other Republicans down with him.”

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