During an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Trump was asked, “[Would] entitlements ever be on your plate?” Entitlements are, of course, Washington-speak for Medicare and Social Security. Trump responded, “At some point they will be,” adding, “It’ll be toward the end of the year.” Just in case Trump misunderstood, Joe Kernen followed up, reminding him this was something he had “said you wouldn’t do in the past” and specifically mentioning Medicare. Trump cut him off. “Well, we’re going to look.”
The clues have surrounded us ever since. Larry Kudlow, Trump’s own chief economic adviser, claimed in 2018, also on CNBC, entitlement spending would likely come up for review in 2019. “We have to be tougher on spending,” he said.
And indeed last year, Trump signed an executive order that would, if carried out in full, weaken Medicare’s finances. While signing it, he told a group of Florida seniors he was saving the program from the Democrats. He’s also proposed making it harder for people to qualify for Social Security disability payments. But these steps do not, in the eyes of the public, translate to a full-on attack.
Just like he’s the Protector of Pre-Existing Conditions, Trump now claims HE will protect both Social Security and Medicare and it’s really the Democratic Party who won’t:
The Democratic candidates were quick to react:
Watch the interview below: