Press Releases

Rob Cornilles Still Can’t Say When Seniors Should be Eligible for Social Security

Oct 19, 2011


Contact: Erik Dorey, Communications Director: press [at] dpo [dot] org, (503) 239-8624

PORTLAND, Oregon (October 19, 2011) – 

Republican Tea Party candidate Rob Cornilles has avoided taking a clear a position on issue after issue, but most worrisome to Oregon seniors is his inability to fully explain where he stands on Social Security. He has already opened the door to private accounts, but Oregonians are still wondering whether he supports the other mainstream Republican proposal for Social Security – raising the eligibility age for future recipients.

“We have seen what happens when Tea Party Republicans like Rob Cornilles try to ‘reform’ hard-earned benefits for seniors,” said Meredith Woods Smith, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “If private accounts are part of Cornilles’ Tea Party plan for Social Security, Oregonians deserve to know whether he would also increase the age that seniors can finally start receiving the benefits they paid for.”


Opened the Door to Private Social Security Accounts. When asked about the Ryan Plan, Cornilles said, “Right now there’s two plans, essentially, one is to let Social Security go bankrupt by doing nothing, by allowing it to just continue on its present course. And the other is to take it totally private. I think that somewhere in between, I think you create an opportunity rather to allow people more choice.” [Pacific University Candidate Forum, 10/9/11]

Supports Social Security Reforms to Save Money. During a September 2010 debate, The Oregonian reported that Cornilles said he would “push for reforms to key programs such as Social Security and Medicare to save money.” [The Oregonian, 9/11/10]
Raising the Retirement Age Would Impact Most Vulnerable Seniors. In 2009, it was reported that raising the Social Security retirement age would impact the most vulnerable. The brief read, “raising the eligibility age for Social Security benefits could create a financial hardship for workers who must retire due to disability, health problems, or job loss. It might also induce some early retirees to apply for Social Security disability benefits, aggravating the financial strain on that program.” [AARP, 3/09]