Biden blasts Trump after talk of 'cutting' Social Security, Medicare

  • Reuters
  • World News
Biden blasts Trump after talk of 'cutting' Social Security, Medicare
Credit: © Reuters

By Tim Reid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Donald Trump's election campaign on Monday sought to clarify his stance on popular U.S. entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare after President Joe Biden blasted him for talking about "cutting" them.

The Republican presidential candidate told CNBC on Monday there was "a lot you can do in terms of cutting" entitlement programs, adding he wants to find cost savings by targeting "theft and bad management."

Democrats seized on Trump's mention of cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which many elderly Americans rely on for retirement income and healthcare, respectively.

"Not on my watch," Biden responded on the X social media platform.

Trump's campaign quickly sought to clarify his remarks, releasing a statement that "President Trump was talking about cutting waste."

The former president had shied away from advocating cuts to the entitlement programs, which many conservatives have called for because of their impact on the federal deficit.

In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Trump also defended his call for a 10% across-the-board tariff on foreign imports, which some economists say would increase the cost of goods for the American consumer.

Trump said any increase in the costs of goods could be offset by tax cuts he is proposing if he is reelected as president in November's general election rematch with Biden.

Asked about concerns over the impact of increased political polarization on the nation's financial stability, Trump said he was concerned about Fitch's 2023 downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

But he dismissed one of Fitch's reasons for the credit downgrade: political polarization and instability following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump's comments were his first extended remarks on his economic plans since he became the party's likely presidential nominee following last week's Super Tuesday primary elections. His last remaining rival for the nomination, Nikki Haley, dropped out of the race the following day.

Trump's tariff plan has spurred talk of inflation by economists, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said it would raise costs for American consumers.

"I think taxes could be cut, I think other things could happen to more than adjust that. But I'm a big believer in tariffs," Trump told CNBC, saying they help American industries when they are "being taken advantage of" by China and other nations.

© Reuters. Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally at the Forum River Center in Rome, Georgia, U.S. March 9, 2024. REUTERS/Alyssa Pointer

"Beyond the economics, it gives you power in dealing with other countries," he said, adding that he was not concerned about any possible retaliatory tariffs if he were to regain the White House.

On Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Trump said he was not in favor of banning them, as some economists and U.S. lawmakers have advocated. "I'm not sure that I'd want to take it away," he said.

 

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