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Haley Campaign Press Release - Latest Trump Lie on Social Security Shows He's Scared of Haley

February 15, 2024

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Donald Trump talks a lot about his South Carolina poll numbers, but his actions say something else. If he's doing so well, why is he taking the money he desperately needs to pay his legal bills and using it to run false ads against Nikki Haley?

Narrator: He's scared.

It gets worse. Under Trump's do-nothing plan, Social Security will start running out of money in 2033 and will require a 23% cut in benefits to keep it afloat.

Nikki Haley has always spoken hard truths. She has a plan to save Social Security and Medicare without taking away anything from people nearing or in retirement.

"Donald Trump is a hypocrite, but that's not even the worst part," said Haley communications director Nachama Soloveichik. "His craven, do-nothing plan will torpedo Social Security in just a few years. For all his false bravado, Donald Trump is too afraid to tell Americans the truth and still afraid of Nikki Haley's momentum."


Trump himself is on the record acknowledging Social Security's fiscal crisis and calling for increasing the retirement age.

  • In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump wrote, "If you're a young person, you would definitely do better to believe in the X-Files than to count on getting your full Social Security benefit."

  • Trump called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme," and suggested solutions ranging from privatizing Social Security to raising "the age for receipt of full Social Security to 70."

  • He defends raising the retirement age: "A firm limit at age 70 makes sense now for people under 40. We're living longer. We're working longer. New medicines are extending healthy human life."

  • In 2020, Trump proposed cutting Medicare to deal with the growing debt crisis (that he helped create).

What do the fact checkers say? Trump is lying.

  • PolitiFact: "The Trump ad is an extreme exaggeration of how many Americans would be affected by Haley's plans for Social Security. It would not affect retirees or people nearing retirement.The ad's 82% appears to refer to a rough estimate of the total Americans eligible for Social Security benefits. Haley has never advocated cutting all Social Security benefits for everyone currently in that 82%."

  • WRAL: "Is that right? No. Haley has never said she wants to cut Social Security for 82% of Americans. She does want to tie the retirement age to the U.S. life expectancy, which is going up, but she only wants to do this for people who are currently in their 20s. She said this for a while now, including in that TV interview that Trump showed in that attack ad. Trump's campaign edited out that part though."

  • "Trump wrongly claimed Haley wants to raise the Social Security retirement age by 10 to 12 years, even for people currently 'in their 60s or 70s.' Haley has advocated raising the retirement age, but only for people now in their 20s… In his 2000 book 'The America We Deserve,' Trump proposed raising the Social Security retirement age to 70."


Haley has a plan for reforming Social Security and Medicare that does NOT take away from people nearing or in retirement:

  • Raise the retirement age for younger generations in their twenties and index Social Security and Medicare benefits to life expectancy.

  • Limit the growth of benefits for higher-income beneficiaries.

  • Expand Medicare Advantage and increase competition.

  • Match cost-of-living increases for Social Security to actual inflation rates by using chained CPI.

Praise for Haley's honest talk about Social Security and Medicare:

  • Wall Street Journal editorial board: "Few politicians are willing to touch entitlements these days, but Nikki Haley dared to do so in the recent debate on Medicare. A new study shows her pitch to expand the Medicare Advantage program could lower costs and improve care."

  • Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner: "Haley, alone among the serious Republican contenders for the presidency, has had the guts to tell the truth that the Social Security system faces insolvency within nine years… It then takes real gall for Trump and his campaign team to ape Democratic attacks saying that Haley advocates 'gutting Social Security.'"

  • Tiana Lowe Doescher, Washington Examiner: "Nikki Haley is correct: Refusing to touch Social Security means a 23% benefit cut"

  • S.E. Cupp, CNN: "She gave some tough talk to her own party on entitlement reform for example.… I thought all of that was pretty refreshing."

  • Kelly Sadler, Newsmax: "So far Nikki Haley has been the only one who has addressed it on the campaign trail, saying that she would like 20-year-olds who are not bought into the program yet to be paying a little bit more or trying to alter the program so it is solvent for the 20-year-olds who are just entering the workplace."

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Latest Trump Lie on Social Security Shows He's Scared of Haley Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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