Oof. President Joe Biden might start to regret picking a rhetorical fight with Florida Senator Rick Scott after all. The dust-up between Biden and Scott reached a fever pitch late Thursday, days after Biden threw a rhetorical jab squarely aimed at Scott – without naming him – during Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech. And it shows no signs of letting up.
On Thursday, Biden continued the attack during a presidential visit to Tampa, specifically calling out the Florida Senator and accusing him of wanting to cut entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, a claim which Scott has long denied. Scott didn’t take the attacks lying down, though. On television, Scott broadcast a 30-second ad ripping Biden and calling on him to resign for cheating on his taxes. But the real fireworks were reserved for social media.
There, Scott unleashed archival footage of a younger Joe Biden admitting on the Senate floor that he supports a freeze on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and military veteran spending. That’s almost exactly what Biden has spent the last three days falsely accusing Scott of supporting.
“I want to go on record, I’m up for reelection this year and I’m gonna remind everybody of what I did, at home, which is gonna cost me politically,” Biden says in the video. “…when I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant social security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans benefits. I meant every single solitary thing…in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice. I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.”
For those not quite up to speed, Biden on Tuesday took advantage of a loosely-worded bullet-point in Scott’s now infamous 2022 “Plan to Rescue America,” which succinctly stated that Scott wants to “sunset all federal legislation after five years.” While Scott has long since clarified that his plan doesn’t include sunsetting entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or defense spending, Biden and Democrats nevertheless haven’t stopped claiming, falsely, that Scott supports those cuts.
“The sad truth is that truth barely exists in Washington anymore,” Scott wrote in an opinion editorial addressing the matter last November. “For today’s Democrats, words no longer have meaning. They can’t say what a woman is, they cut Medicare and then insist they didn’t, and they testify in hearings under oath and say that the border is secure. When they are talking, they are lying. For Biden and his party, falsehood is standard policy – it’s what they do.”
Enter Biden and his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, when the president once again repeated the same false claim about Scott’s plan:
“Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset every five years,” Biden said during the speech. “That means if Congress doesn’t vote to keep them, those programs will go away.”
The resulting hullabalooo generated countless news stories from legacy media outlets carrying the attack and name dropping Scott, falsely supporting the narrative despite Scott having long cleared up the matter. The skirmish continued through Thursday, when the president paid a visit to Tampa and repeated it anew.
Expect to see more of this in the months ahead. Clearly Democrats have decided – at least for now – that Scott is a high-priority target for 2024. It’s not the first time they believed it, but over the last decade, Scott has found ways to defeat everything the Democrats have thrown at him.
This latest video, featuring the face of the Democratic party, might be another example.