FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erik Dorey | Communications Director | press [at] dpo [dot] org | (503) 239-8624
In the first televised debate of the general election for Oregon’s 1st Congressional District, Suzanne Bonamici repeatedly outlined for voters why her strong record of standing up for consumers, protecting seniors’ hard-earned benefits, and fighting for middle-class Oregonians is better suited for the district than Republican Rob Cornilles’ say-anything-to-win empty political rhetoric.
“Predictably, after losing in 2010 on a far-right tea party platform, Rob Cornilles has been trying to refashion himself as a moderate — it won’t work,” said Trent Lutz, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “When Rob Cornilles brands himself ‘the original tea party candidate’ one year and then tries to align himself with the Occupy movement, while simultaneously opposing any proposals for the wealthiest to pay their fair share, voters are right to be skeptical about whether he has any convictions beyond getting himself elected to office.”
In the debate, Cornilles repeatedly reasserted his widely discredited political attack that Bonamici, because of her support for the Affordable Care Act, wants to cut $500 million from Medicare benefits. Recently, the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-check outlet PolitiFact, in a piece published in the Oregonian, rated Cornilles’ attack against Bonamici flat-out “false.” From the article: “While it’s true that the government is looking to reduce the growth of future spending, the Affordable Care Act does not eliminate $500 billion out of the current budget for Medicare. Most important, there are no cuts to guaranteed Medicare benefits.”
“Once again, Republican Rob Cornilles is on the attack, desperately trying to distract from his own position on Social Security and Medicare,” said Lutz. “After losing in 2010 on the Tea Party ticket, Cornilles clearly thinks that baseless attacks can distract from his support for cutting Medicare and Social Security and supporting private plans for both.”
“I appreciate this opportunity for people to really know who the candidates are and what they stand for,” Bonamici said in tonight’s debate. “Last year Rob seemed to be a different person than he is this year… I think the voters deserve to know.”
Supports Cutting Social Security and Medicare Before Defense. In 2010, Cornilles said that he would cut spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare before trimming the defense budget. [Daily Astorian, 1/21/10]
Cornilles Supports Simpson-Bowles, which recommends cuts to Social Security. “Due to changes, all beneficiaries — except a very few with low earnings throughout a long career — would face losses in benefits. The benefit of a medium earner (earning about $43,000 in today’s terms) would fall by 13 percent below the currently scheduled amount in 2050 and by 19 percent in 2080.
Cornilles supports Private Option for Social Security. 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, 31:54, 10/9/11]