O’Donnell Grovels at Seniors’ Feet

Republican CD-7 candidate Rick O’Donnell launched a new TV ad yesterday aimed at convincing seniors he no longer thinks social security is “un-American.” O’Donnell has been blasted for writing an essay advocating an end to social security back in 1995, when he was just a “know-it-all kid.” O’Donnell officially reversed that position in July. He says watching his mother struggle changed his mind and now he wants to fix, not fry, social security.

Also yesterday, the state GOP sent thousands of mailings to CD-7 voters containing a letter from O’Donnell about his social security position. A news release from his campaign promises if you read the letter, “You’ll see a side of him you’ve never seen before.”

That must be O’Donnell’s “wounded victim side.” An excerpt from the mailing:

I said that social security was a failure. I even said that it should be abolished. Then I grew up. I learned a lot about life. Ed Perlmutter wants the things I said when I was young to destroy me now. He wants you to hate me…and not to forgive the misguided thoughts of a kid. He wants you to ignore the things I have to say now.

So what does O’Donnell have to say about social security now? He accuses opponent Ed Perlmutter of wanting to cut benefits and raise taxes, a claim Perlmutter refutes. He also says he wants to be part of a bipartisan effort to fix the problem. But how to fix it? Well, that’s not so clear. O’Donnell says benefits should not be cut now or in the future, but the only clue to his plan are references to a “personal Social Security lockbox,” which some people interpret as O’Donnell-speak for privatization.

Perlmutter will address social security and his opposition to privatization tomorrow when he delivers the Democratic response to President Bush’s weekly radio address. It will begin at 9:06 a.m.

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