President Biden said on Saturday that people with signs calling him a socialist are idiots, while warning Republicans want to cut health care for Americans three days before Election Day.
“Social Security and Medicare are more than government programs, they are a promise. They are a promise. Work hard and contribute and when the time comes things will be easier for you,” he said in comments at Jones Elementary in Joliet, Illinois. “It is a rock-solid guarantee, a rock-solid commitment. Generations of Americans have counted on it and it works.”
“I love those signs when I came in – socialism. Give me a break, what idiots,” the president added. “No one ever doubts that I mean what I say, sometimes of course I say everything I mean.”
Dozens of protesters lined the road to the elementary school carrying signs with comments ranging from “Let’s go Brandon” to “where’s Nancy”, as well as “Socialism sucks”.
The president warned in his remarks that millions of Americans would lose health care coverage, benefits and protection under the plans of Congressional Republicans. Some Republicans have pledged to repeal aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act, passed earlier this year with only Democrat support, if they take control of Congress this mid-cycle.
“Everything I just talked about — $2,000 cap on prescription drugs, $35 a month on insulin, more power for Medicare to lower drug prices — all gone, all gone if they succeed,” Biden said. “Well, at least they won’t succeed for the next two years, because I’ll veto it.”
He warned that Congressional Republicans “are also coming for your Social Security and Medicare benefits.” He cited a proposal released in February by Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) that included a proposal to halt government programs every five years, meaning lawmakers would have to vote to expand Medicare and Social Security.
“I mean, what’s up with these guys?” asked Biden. “In other words, it ceases to exist if we don’t vote to keep it, isn’t that great?”
In addition, he noted that Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) earlier this year suggested that Social Security and health care funding should be approved annually through the budgeting process.
The president was joined for his comments in Illinois by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), as well as Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.).
Biden recently stepped up his warnings that Republicans would cut health care benefits, along with pre-election day warnings that inflation would be worse under a Republican-controlled Congress.
The president made a similar plea in Florida Tuesday, when he focused his comments on how a Republican-controlled Congress could threaten Social Security and Medicare benefits for millions of Americans.
After visiting Illinois, Biden heads to Philadelphia to meet with former President Obama to boost Democratic senatorial candidate John Fetterman.
The Illinois stop is another on a list of quintessentially blue strongholds the president visits in the days leading up to Tuesday’s Election Day. He also traveled to New Mexico and California this week, stopping in New York on Sunday and Maryland on Monday.