MANCHESTER – While Republicans Frank Guinta and Dan Innis battle for their party’s 1st District U.S. House nomination, Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter on Thursday challenged them to fully support the Social Security system.
Shea-Porter noted that Thursday is the 79th anniversary of Social Security. Her campaign said in a statement she “reaffirmed her commitment to protect and strengthen Social Security, and challenged Republican candidates Frank Guinta and Dan Innis to reverse their support for cuts to senior benefits.”
Shea-Porter’s campaign said former Rep. Guinta “helped write” the Republican House budget when he was in office and “ and supports privatizing Social Security and gambling away seniors’ benefits in the stock market. In fact, Guinta is so committed to dismantling Social Security that in May 2010 he said he hoped his kids would never know what Social Security is.”
She pointed a video of Guinta as a candidate in 2010 in which he said at a question-and-answer forum that those receiving benefits from Social Security and Medicare should not have them taken away but said “moving forward,” there should be “a new plan” and an attempt “to figure out what the country can afford.”
He said there will be “tough decisions” for future congresses.
“Honestly if you gave me a choice, let me take my own money and deal with m yown investment for retirement,” Guinta said in the video.
Shea-Porter noted that at a WMUR-TV forum last year, Innis, while not yet a candidate but considering running, stood up and asked Shea-Porter for her “long term plans on how to reform entitlements.”
Shea-Porter answered that she first wants to reform corporate taxes to level the playing field and address “fraud and inefficiency” in the federal government. “But I’m not going to take money from senior citizens and I’m not going to take money from the poor to do that until we’ve done everything else,” she told Innis.
Her campaign said today that Innis, by asking that question, showed he is not committed to preserving the current Social Security program.
Innis responded, “Congresswoman Shea-Porter thinks it’s off-limits to even ask questions about the future of Social Security. This important safety net for our elderly is going bankrupt, and Congresswoman Shea-Porter lacks the courage to do anything about it. Criticizing me for asking a question at a Town Hall meeting is especially strange, since she launched her political career at such an event, but has refused to hold any this year.”
Shea-Porter spokesman Marjorie Connolly said, “Frank Guinta and Dan Innis should take Social Security’s anniversary as an opportunity to reverse their support for policies that gamble away seniors’ retirement security. Granite State seniors deserve to know whether Guinta and Innis still support extreme cuts that would threaten our seniors’ earned benefits.”
Connolly said Shea-Porter “understands that generations of New Hampshire seniors have earned Social Security through a lifetime of work. That’s why she’s fighting to protect benefits for current and future recipients. Her dedication to seniors stands in stark contrast to what Frank Guinta and Dan Innis have said.”
Guinta spokesman Jay Ruais responded, “It’s sad that after voting to cut more than $700 billion from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare, a move that simultaneously devastates our middle-class and seniors, the Congresswoman would emerge from her extended vacation to issue a press release filled with distortions. As we have become accustomed to, the Congresswoman would rather play politics than solve problems. Frank Guinta will continue fighting on behalf of New Hampshire seniors, and will work to preserve and protect these vital programs for future generations.”