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Obama Campaign Press Release - Obama Continues to Advocate for Straight Talk on Social Security

October 29, 2007

Cedar Rapids, IA -- At a town hall meeting with local residents at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, Barack Obama continued to challenge conventional Washington thinking by calling for a direct and honest discussion with the American people about how to strengthen Social Security. Obama pointed out that Senator Clinton is pursuing the calculated strategy advocated by Washington insiders by refusing to discuss her views about Social Security during the last televised presidential debate.

"You might remember this came up at the last presidential debate," Obama said. "And when Senator Clinton was asked about it, she wouldn't say what she thinks we should do. And the other day, here in Iowa, she skipped another chance to give a direct answer on this. She's not alone in ducking the issue, of course. Because conventional thinking in Washington says Social Security is the third rail of American politics. It says you should hedge, dodge, and spin, but at all costs, don't answer."

On Sunday, Obama's campaign began airing a television ad in Iowa yesterday highlighting his belief that Social Security won't be strengthened until Washington politicians stop treating it as the so-called third rail of American politics. You can view the new ad at:

"If we have failed to have a real, honest conversation about Social Security, it will not get fixed," Obama says in the new ad. "This is a program that millions of people depend on."

Obama first drew the distinction between his commitment to speaking honestly about Social Security and Senator Clinton's strategy of dodging direct questions on the topic at a town hall meeting with seniors in Des Moines on Saturday. At the event, Obama was introduced by previously undecided caucusgoer Tod Bowman, a Maquoketa high school teacher who said he was disappointed that Senator Clinton refused to directly answer his question about strengthening Social Security at a town hall meeting she'd hosted earlier this month.

Bowman said of Senator Clinton, "It made me wonder, if a candidate won't answer a question on the campaign trail, how can we be sure she'll be honest with the American people when they're president?"

Barack Obama, Obama Campaign Press Release - Obama Continues to Advocate for Straight Talk on Social Security Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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