Obama Unloads on Ron Johnson Threats to Social Security

Former President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign stop for Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes, right, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

By Joe Zepecki
November 3, 2022

Former President Barack Obama visited Milwaukee recently for a get out the vote rally on behalf of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. 

With both top of the ticket races true toss-ups in 50-50 Wisconsin Obama had a lot of ground to cover – from the success of the Evers-Barnes Administration in managing the states response to the COVID-19 pandemic to how both men have been steadfast in their commitment to protecting abortion rights in the wake of the Dobbs decision.

All told, Obama spoke for more than 40 minutes.

But one moment stood out. Obama’s excoriation of Sen. Johnson’s threat to social security has been viewed millions of times online in the days since. Here’s what he said:

Some of you here are on Social Security. Some of your parents are on Social Security. Some of your grandparents are on Social Security. You know why they have Social Security? Because they worked for it. They worked hard jobs for it. They have chapped hands for it. They had long hours, and sore backs and bad knees to get that Social Security.

And if Ron Johnson does not understand that, if he understands giving tax breaks for private planes more than he understands making sure that seniors who worked all their lives are able to retire with dignity and respect, he’s not the person who’s thinking about you, and knows you and sees you, and he should not be your senator from Wisconsin.”

Obama was referring to Johnson’s proposal to make Social Security discretionary spending, subject to the whims of the annual budget process. Under that plan, the previously guaranteed benefit of seniors would be subjected to the whims of the politics of the moment each and every year – removing the certainty and confidence that comes with knowing your social security check will arrive.

You can watch Obama’s remarks on Johnson’s social security plan here.


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