Campaign 2010

Mar 02, 2005

Bush Is On The Way…

DCCC Press

Mar 2, 2005

Bush Is On The Way...

With Bush on his way to South Bend, will Chris Chocola finally come clean with Hoosiers on where he stands on Social Security privatization?

Chocola's Broken Social Security Pledge
Caught on Tape

Now that President Bush has announced he will visit South Bend, Indiana on Friday to attempt to sell his Social Security privatization plan to Hoosiers, local GOP Rep. Chris Chocola finds himself in the hot seat. Even with the Social Security debate raging across the country and despite a 2002 promise to his constituents to protect Social Security, Chris Chocola has thus far refused to tell his Indiana district where he stands on the issue of privatization, and he is quickly running out of time.

"Incredibly, in the last three election cycles, Rep. Chris Chocola has had three different positions on the privatization of Social Security, " said DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (IL). "With President Bush campaigning for privatization this week in his Indiana district, this is Rep. Chris Chocola's moment of truth. Rep. Chocola needs to clarify his position, once and for all, on the privatization of Social Security and the cuts in benefits it would mean for his Indiana constituents."

Chris Chocola has had so many positions on Social Security, Hoosiers can't be blamed for having no idea where he stands on the issue at any given moment:

  • In 2000, then-candidate Chris Chocola completed a survey stating that he favors private Social Security accounts. The Cato Institute contacted all Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress and asked them, "Do you favor or oppose Social Security reform that would allow workers to save a portion of their payroll taxes in a personal retirement account?" Chocola Answered "Favors" [CATO, 2000 Candidate Survey].
  • Later that same year, Chris Chocola said he supported privatization. "Eventually, I'd like to see the entire system privatized." [South Bend Tribune, July 28, 2002; originally reported by the: Elkhart Truth, 10/8/00].
  • But in 2002, Chocola promised Indiana he would never support the privatization of Social Security. Chocola wrote in a 2002 AARP Candidate Questionnaire, "I will oppose any plan to privatize Social Security." [AARP, 2002 Candidate Questionnaire].
  • Also in 2002, Chocola ran a campaign ad promising to protect Social Security. Just last month the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new website revealing Chocola's backtracking from that 2002 ad in which he promised to protect Social Security. Rep. Chocola's "Caught on Tape" moment can be found here.
  • In 2004, however, the story changed again. Last year, Chocola was playing a different tune on his campaign website where he stated that he supported privatization: "I believe Congress should work toward a long-term retirement security plan that allows younger workers to voluntarily direct a percentage of their payroll taxes into a personal account under their control." [Chocola for Congress website]
  • Earlier this year, following the President's State of the Union Address that laid out the Administration's plan to privatize Social Security and cut benefits, Chocola would only say that he is confident that "Social Security... will be strengthened for future generations."

It appears Chris Chocola has already broken his 2002 promise to Hoosiers to protect Social Security from privatization, but now the pressure is mounting. With President Bush campaigning in the heart of his district, will Chris Chocola finally state his position on the President's plan to privatize Social Security and cut benefits for tens of thousands of Hoosiers?