From NBC's Andy Merten and Mark Murray
After hitting the campaign trail in New Hampshire and Iowa with her husband over the Labor Day weekend, Hillary Clinton returned to Washington today addressing the Alliance for Retired Americans today. She stuck mostly to her standard stump speech after taking stage and finding the podium rushed by enthusiastic senior citizens wielding digital cameras. "I see a lot of fellow baby boomers, and we're all thinking about the problems we'll confront," Clinton said.
She focused heavily on the issues of Medicare and Social Security, saying, "Now you don't have to worry –- when I'm president, privatization is off the table." Clinton added that reducing benefits and raising the retirement age is not the answer. "We need to get back to the fiscal responsibility that we had in the 1990s," she added. (If reducing benefits or raising the retirement age isn't the answer to making the system solvent, then what is -- raising taxes?)
While Clinton made a point to draw upon nostalgic pictures of the time the former President Clinton spent in office, she only mentioned him directly once. "When my husband left office, we had a secure Social Security system until 2055, and then, all of a sudden, the Bush Administration took us back into deficits."
Wait a second: Is that right? A 2001 Social Security Board of Trustees report said the program would remain solvent until 2038, not 2055. The Clinton campaign has yet to respond to messages First Read left seeking comment.