The Washington Post

Democrats push McDonnell to clarify his position on Social Security

Forty-five Democratic legislators and candidates for the General Assembly sent a letter to Gov. Bob McDonnell Tuesday urging him to say whether his appearance with Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday is an endorsement of his views on Social Security.

In the letter, they state their support for Social Security and ask McDonnell whether he agrees with Perry, a presidential hopeful who has repeatedly called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.”

“Because you are welcoming Governor Perry to Virginia, we ask you to tell Virginians whether or not you embrace Governor Perry’s dangerous and harmful beliefs regarding Social Security,’’ they write. “We also urge Republican members of and candidates for the General Assembly to explain whether or not they agree with Governor Perry.”

McDonnell said Tuesday on WNIS radio that he agreed with the presidential hopeful that Social Security needs to change, but did not call it a “Ponzi scheme.”

“The governor believes that Social Security must be reformed in order to ensure that it remains sustainable in the decades ahead,’’ McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said.

The most interesting thing about the letter? It’s missing the name of a key Democratic legislator — House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (D-Henry).

When we called him, Armstrong said he disagrees with Perry’s comments but didn’t sign because he’s consumed with his reelection to the House. He said his lack of a signature had nothing to do with him running in a conservative district in Southside against an incumbent.

“I’m up to eyeballs in reelection,’’ he said. “It just wasn’t something that was a high priority.”

Read the letter and see who else did — or did not — sign it.


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