The Ohio Federation of Teachers held an event today calling on U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) to pledge that he will not privatize Social Security - something Portman's campaign says he never supported anyway.
It's the latest attack on Portman from forces loyal to Democrat Ted Strickland over Portman's supposed support for Social Security privatization in the past. The Portman campaign says Portman "never" supported privatization, but a PolitiFact report and a YouTube video say otherwise.
Portman supported President George W. Bush’s proposal to allow Americans to put part of their Social Security contributions into private accounts. Americans would be able to invest in stocks, bonds, government securities or stay out of the accounts entirely. He said it could help the Social Security trust fund.
The American Federation of Teachers is spending $325,000 to air an ad on cable and broadcast TV in the Columbus area.
Portman campaign spokesman Michawn Rich said in a Cleveland Plain Dealer report that Portman has "never voted to privatize Social Security nor has he ever supported privatizing Social Security." A 2010 Politifact story stated that the senator was a "privatization champion."
But as the 2010 story noted, there are variations in how far various privatization proposals would go, and Portman -- like nearly all other Republicans -- never said he was for unconditionally turning all Social Security accounts into private investment vehicles.
"These latest misleading ads from out-of-state liberal special interest groups are nothing more than desperate attempts to distract from Ted Strickland's awful record," Rich stated.
Here's the OFT's post from this morning:
Columbus, Ohio—On Friday, a group of concerned Ohioans held an event to tell Senator Portman to sign a pledge that he will not privatize Social Security.
The Washington Post gave Hillary Clinton three Pinocchios for this claim saying, “Shorthand or not, there is also little excuse for referring to the Bush plan as privatization. Clinton earns Three Pinocchios.” (Washington Post, 2/22/2016)
Washington Post: That plan would have been voluntary, for workers younger than 55, and would have permitted a diversion no more than a third of payroll taxes into investments other than Treasury bonds (which Social Security is now invested in). The system would still be government-managed; it would not be “in the stock market” or “privatized.” (Washington Post, 1/21/2014)