In a new ad, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) criticizes his Republican opponent, former Reno assemblywoman Sharron Angle, for wanting to privatize Social Security and Medicare. To support this claim, the Reid ad plays a clip of Angle saying, “We need to phase Medicare and Social Security out” in a May debate.
Angle’s campaign called Reid’s ad “a deception,” saying that she wants to protect those “who entered into the system on good faith” while creating “free market alternatives” and new personalized programs” for those not already in the system.
Angle has been “ducking the media” since winning the GOP nomination, but she granted an interview to Fox and Friends this morning. Host Steve Doocy obliged by trying to help her clean up her stance, suggesting that it’s “misinformation or mischaracterization” that she’s anti-Social Security:
DOOCY: Before you go, Sharron, just, you know, perhaps it’s misinformation or mischaracterization, but some have said that you are out to get rid of Social Security. That’s not true, right?
ANGLE: Well, that’s nonsense. I have always said that we need to make the lock box — a lock box. Put the money in there for our senior citizens. They came here in good faith paying into a system that Harry Reid has put an IOU in for 24 years. He has been raiding Social Security. And what we need to do is personalize Social Security and Medicare so that the government can no longer raid it.
The Fox and Friends interview — where host Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed that Angle is a political newcomer who received Sarah Palin’s endorsement — is being derided by the “dean of the press corps in Nevada,” Jon Ralston, as a “softball interview.” On his Ralston’s Flash blog, the host of Face to Face wrote that Angle was “not challenged on anything” and the Fox hosts “seem not to know who she is or who endorsed her.”
Politico’s Ben Smith printed a note from an “appalled” Ralston that further ripped the interview and Angle’s performance in it:
U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle said that during an astonishing interview on “Fox and Friends” this morning in which the hosts claimed she is a political newcomer (not so) and was endorsed by Sarah Palin (not so).
That’s quite the different spin from Angle after her past comments about privatization –and her onetime view that Social Security is “hard to justify.” (Of course, Reid is going to have to justify his policies on Social Security, but Angle clearly has been told to massage (no, not the Scientology massages) her position for popular consumption.)
Follow-up? Don’t be silly….
As Media Matters notes, Angle’s own website says that she believes that Social Security should be “transitioned out” in favor of “personal retirement account options” for “young workers.” Perhaps Doocy thinks Angle’s own website is filled with “misinformation” about her positions.
A local Fox News affiliate in Las Vegas also panned Fox and Friends’ softball interview, writing that the interview was “rife with inaccuracies, softball questions and poor research on the part of the producers and hosts.”
,The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel writes of the Fox interview: “It really sounds like the Fox hosts were more interested in shoehorning Angle into last week’s narrative — Sarah Palin’s ‘mama grizzlies,’ tea partyers challenging the establishment — then figuring out who she actually was.”