After weeks of being hammered on his position on Social Security, Republican challenger Jesse Kelly countered the criticism in a television ad to be aired this week in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.
In the ad, Kelly said U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the incumbent Democrat, is “distorting” his Social Security plan in order to distract voters from her record of supporting the federal bail-outs and the federal health care law, and of opposing SB1070, Arizona’s most recent immigration law.
Kelly’s position on Social Security and Medicare has been a central narrative of the Giffords’ campaign.
The Giffords campaign is seeking to portray Kelly as an extremist with “dangerous ideas.” A recent ad produced by the campaign called Kelly a “risk we can’t afford.”
“What kind of guy says that Medicare is a scam, or a Ponzi scheme? His ideas are dangerous,” Giffords’ campaign manager Rodd McLeod, stated in a news release.
Kelly’s new ad counters that his Social Security plan calls for “(honoring) our commitments” to seniors while giving younger workers a choice.
Kelly said he would keep the benefits at their current level for those who already receiving Social Security and for those who already are paying into it. For those who are just entering the work force, Kelly said he wants to provide an option to put a portion of their contributions into a personal savings account.
“We need to save Social Security by transitioning to a more sustainable financial model,” he said. “My plan guarantees that will happen. Giffords has no plan and has done nothing to work toward a solution.”
Giffords’ campaign said Kelly is attempting to give himself a “makeover” after calling for the elimination of Social Security and Medicare during the primary election season.
Meanwhile, Giffords also released a television ad that seeks to show her as tough on border security. The ad shows Cochise County veterinarian and rancher Dr. Gary Thrasher saying the congresswoman is “probably the best advocate for border security that we’ve ever had down here.”