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Tarryl Clark on Bachmann’s Social Security plan: ‘Why on earth does she want to take away our money?’

By Amanda Terkel  

"Tarryl Clark on Bachmann’s Social Security plan: ‘Why on earth does she want to take away our money?’"

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Yesterday at Netroots Nation, ThinkProgress spoke to Minnesota state Sen. Tarryl Clark (D), who is challenging Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) for Congress, and asked her about the disconnect between what Tea Party profiteers say and what the needs are of people who attend these rallies. Clark pointed to the fact that Bachmann has said she would like to “wean everybody off” of Social Security — even though that would be taking away money Americans have been paying for years:

CLARK: Because one of the best examples is Michele Bachmann has said that Americans need to be weaned off Social Security and Medicare. Well, I’ve now been paying into Social Security since I was a teenager — so for about 25 or 30 years — seems to me that’s my money. Why on earth does she want to take away our money? It’s money that we’ve worked hard for, and it’s money that’s supposed to be there for our retirement. Well, why would she want to do that? It is the opposite of what I think people are mad about. We should be making sure that the government is going to have it be solvent and have it be available for us, instead of having people like Michele threatening to get rid of it. Because she’s long supported privatization and other things.

Watch it:

In February, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) welcomed Tea Party members to join progressives in fighting special interests.

Transcript:

TP: Michele Bachmann, of course, has cast herself as the leader of the Tea Parties. But at the same time, it doesn’t seem like anything she has done in Congress affects or helps anyone in the Tea Party movement, and there’s an incredible distance between what the leaders of this Tea Party movement say and what the needs are of people who attend these rallies — because I’ve attended many of them, I’ve talked to these people. How do progressives get into this space and actually help people who are in the Tea Party movement without getting sucked up into the hateful rhetoric and all those other things that have characterized them in the past?

CLARK: Well for me, it’s about winning the way we did my state Senate race. My state Senate seat had been held by Republicans beforehand, and we worked hard — door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor, connecting with voters, making sure they could look me in the eye and know that in me they’d have someone who was going be standing up and fighting for them. So in a lot of ways, it’s person-to-person, it’s not about trying to deal with some particular infrastructure of any particular group.

But an example would be — and why people are who maybe are angry at Washington — and I’m angry at Washington; a lot of things are taking too long. They have a right to be angry. If they actually start listening and thinking about what’s going on in their own lives and what’s important to them, I hope they’ll consider voting for me.

Because one of the best examples is Michele Bachmann has said that Americans need to be weaned off Social Security and Medicare. Well, I’ve now been paying into Social Security since I was a teenager — so for about 25 or 30 years — seems to me that’s my money. Why on earth does she want to take away our money? It’s money that we’ve worked hard for, and it’s money that’s supposed to be there for our retirement. Well, why would she want to do that? It is the opposite of what I think people are mad about. We should be making sure that the government is going to have it be solvent and have it be available for us, instead of having people like Michele threatening to get rid of it. Because she’s long supported privatization and other things.

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