- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 1, 2023

A pro-Trump super PAC is rolling out a new ad targeting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ record supporting cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

The group behind the ad, MAGA Inc., has plowed more than $1 million into the ad which began airing on Friday, a sign the Florida feud is beginning to gain steam even before Mr. DeSantis has formally entered the 2024 presidential race. 

“Think you know Ron DeSantis? Think again,” the narrator says. “In Congress, DeSantis voted three separate times to cut Social Security.”

“The more you see about DeSantis, the more you see he doesn’t share our values,” the narrator says. “He’s not ready to be president.”

Adam Putnam, Florida’s former Republican Commissioner of Agriculture, levied similar attacks against Mr. DeSantis during a 2018 primary for Mr. DeSantis’ U.S. House seat. 

Political fact-checking website PolitiFact said in 2018 that those claims were misleading. 

The 2018 ads cited three budget resolutions put forward by the Republican Study Committee that Mr. DeSantis voted in favor of in 2013, 2014 and 2015. 

An analysis of the 2013 resolution by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget noted that the proposal would transition Medicare to a premium support system for new beneficiaries and raise the Medicare retirement age to 70 while preserving current benefits for those in or near retirement. 

Moreover, as PolitiFact pointed out, even if the budget resolutions would have passed, they are not law.  

President Trump, himself, faced accusations in 2020 over what some said were measures that would result in cuts to Social Security and Medicare baked into his budget proposal for that year despite his previous assurances that he wouldn’t cut the entitlement programs.

The latest ads are slated to run on Fox News Channel, CNN and Newsmax. MAGA Inc., spent just over $1.3 million to run the ad for a week, according to AdImpact.

In a Twitter post rolling out the ad, the group says it will “expose the key differences between President Trump and Ron DeSantis that illustrate just how unelectable DeSantis is.”

“President Trump is on the side of the American people when it comes to Social Security and Medicare,” MAGA Inc. said. “ Ron DeSantis sides with DC establishment insiders.”

Mr. DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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