As the issue of candidates’ past records on social security has become a hot topic on the campaign trail, voters in key early states have been increasingly turning to Google to make up their own minds.
Analysis of searches for the term “Biden social security” shows that Iowans in particular have been keen to find out more, with the state leading the nation in searches just days from their crucial caucuses. The District of Columbia has come in second, whilst New Hampshire, which goes to the polls Tuesday week, is a strong third.
Of course, if social security is important to them, they might well not like what they find. A number of clips of the former Vice President have circulated over the past few weeks, including from a Senate floor speech in 1996, and a TV interview in 2007. In all of them he appears to call for spending cuts to social security.
Furthermore, Biden was a co-founder of the pro business Democratic Leadership Council, a pro business lobby which went so far as to call for the privatization of parts of Social Security. Shamefully, the Biden camp has gone on to attempt to gaslight the electorate, accusing the Sanders campaign of lying about his record in spite of the numerous on the record statements made by Biden.
The issue has been a further point of contrast with Sanders, who has been remarkably consistent in his advocacy on the issue, reflective of a broader perception shown by polling that he is seen as the most consistent and trustworthy of the candidates. The Sanders camp has been effective in counteracting efforts by Biden to muddy the waters on the issue.
In response to accusations from the Biden camp that Sanders was misrepresenting his record, a January 21 release noted “he’s trying to distort his decades-long record of proposing and voting for cuts to social security benefits for millions of people. Joe Biden is no defender of social security, and a negative ad won’t help him outrun his record.”
With the Iowa caucuses less than 72 hours away, judgement awaits for Biden.