Karl Rove, Thom Tillis and social security

by | Aug 27, 2014 | 2014 Elections, Ads, Editor's Blog, US Senate | 7 comments

Karl Rove’s latest ad attacking Kay Hagan gets an R rating–for ridiculous. Rove is accusing Hagan of trying to cut social security and Medicare benefits while simultaneously increasing the debt. The message is muddled and the accusations aren’t believable. 

Protecting social security and Medicare have been key parts of the Democratic agenda for decades. In trying to go after Hagan on the issues, he’s trying to drive a wedge between her and seniors and undermine a traditional Democratic strength. I doubt most voters will buy it. It’s like Democrats accusing Republicans of raising taxes. It goes against the core of their beliefs.

But if Rove really wants to bring that conversation up, Hagan should engage him. Last time the GOP controlled Congress, they tried hard to privatize social security. Had they succeeded, the Great Recession would have been even worse. There’s no evidence that they’ve backed off that part of their agenda. 

As Speaker of the North Carolina House, Thom Tillis passed a budget that underfunded schools and stiffed teachers to pay for a huge tax cut to wealthy North Carolinians. He kicked more than a 170,000 people off of unemployment insurance at a time when there were no jobs to be had. He also denied Medicaid to 500,000 citizens just to thumb his nose at Obamacare. What makes anybody doubt that he would support privatizing social security?

While Tillis wants to come off as a moderate politician, he oversaw a radical transformation of North Carolina government that has, so far, only benefitted a few and hurt a lot. He’s either led the revolution or got led by it. Either way, there’s no evidence that, in Washington, Thom Tillis would put the people he represents ahead of either his own ambitions or the excesses of his party. 

Even if you believe entitlements need to be reformed, it’s going to take compromise and working both sides of the aisle to do it. Kay Hagan fits the profile of someone who might be able to engage in that conversation. Thom Tillis doesn’t. 


  1. Lily

    Carl Rove, is he not that guy who was mixed up in outing an undercover CIA Agent for political reasons? He was known as “Bush’s Brain” or as Bush used to call him “fart blossom”. Now there is an example of a good citizen. He would be very likely to tell the truth?

  2. Carol24

    “R” for ridculous is spot on. The Social Security Act was enacted August 14, 1935 during President Franklin Rooselvelts term. SS was enacted to help keep seniors out of poverty and not one Republican voted for it.

    SS is not part of the deficit, it is in a fund of it’s own and Republican presidents use it to help pay for their tax cuts for the rich, they are not free. President Ronald Reagan took $2.5 trillion out of the fund and President George W. Bust took $1.5 trillion out. When Bush was campaigning for his second term he was asked how much money was still in the SS fund and he said there was a bunch of IOU’s.

    If social security was privatized I don’t know where Republican presidents would get money to help pay for the tax cuts for the rich.

    American taxpayers will be paying for George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the next ten years.

  3. Elizabeth

    Before voting consider the consequences of voting for each candidate based on their past record in working for ALL the people of North Carolina and the United States of America! Be honest with yourself and JUST consider each candidates’ history — WHO would (will) you vote For??!!!!!

  4. Tim

    As if the people that support Karl Rove candidates would vote any differently if he were not around. The rest of the population knows he’s all smoke and mirrors, and are laughing at the people who don’t.

  5. Thomas Ricks

    If you’re smart you vote non contard, and if you’re dumb you vote contard.

    GOP is contard. Libertarians in the south and east are contard with more crazy. Still socially conservative but anti social security and medicare too.

  6. Troy

    Last week, I was driving through Brunswick County and saw a billboard on US 17. It said, “When Democrats win, everybody wins.” There are those that just read that phrase and rolled their eyes in derision at such a cliche message and shotgun approach. However, when you think about it, in totality, it’s not false. It is easy to pick apart minuta parts of a whole and expound on what we don’t like. In American politics, it’s almost a sport. So Rove’s ad is telling. Inordinate sums are being spent telling us what is found lacking with Hagan’s representation and yet, nothing about why Tillis is right. Odd, that.

    And that is the bottom line here. Perhaps Kay hasn’t done everything she could have to perpetuate all the planks. There are perhaps a couple of things that people will take issue with that she has done and by what she has left undone. But in all she has done, it has been for the benefit of the people, all of the people, not just select sub-groups of the population.

    Not so with Tillis. I have yet to read or hear anything coming from this man that is of benefit to others solely. There must always be some good Thom Tillis can derive from any action, ergo, he can’t embrace it. He has done nothing, not one thing, that I can identify that has benefited the majority of people of this State. And he’s just Speaker of the NC House. If the Republican party gains control in the US Senate, NC will serve as the blueprint for what awaits the nation. A nation struggling economically as it tries to extricate itself from a decade of conservative fiscal policy and conflict economics. This is the curse of Karl Rove.

    Rove might not be wrong, but I’ve never seen a time he’s been right either. He’s had the distinction of being able to foist his ideas on America through his associations with the Bushes, George W. in chief. Looking around, it would take a blind man to not be able to see the dismal result of those ideas.

    My hope is the same as Thomas’; people aren’t buying it. In that regard however, I also have my doubts.

  7. HunterC

    The sad thing is the Rove ad is right.

    As the linked article makes clear, the Rove ad attacks Hagan from the left.

    Counterintuitive? Yes.

    Wrong? No.

    Hagan and far too many “Democrats” continue to wrap their arms around Simpson-Bowles as if multi-millionaires like Erskine Bowles actually proposed a plan that would keep Social Security alive rather than shred the last New Deal program by a thousand cuts.

    If the crazy right is going to run an ad urging faux liberals to keep their hands off Social Security, then so be it.

    In her years in the Senate, Hagan hasn’t co-sponsored the (Bernie Sanders) bill to raise the cap on six-figure earners paying their fair share into Social Security. Let the right make an example of her with their own money.

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