Beto O’Rourke was for cutting Social Security before he was against it. That matters because politicians often campaign one way and govern another

Former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke mused about cutting Social Security benefits in 2012.  This week, he claimed a sort of evolution, saying he’s become a lot smarter and he’s against cuts now.


Here’s the problem with convenient political evolutions — they are not like scientific evolution, which tends to go one way. Politicians flip back and forth. President Obama campaigned against cutting Social Security, then came out for cutting it, then later came out for expanding it after an expansive campaign against his cuts (full disclosure: I was involved in that campaign).

What would a President Beto O’Rourke do? It’s anyone’s guess. But the political calculations of a Democratic primary race where a democratic socialist is leading the field is a little bit different than say, if O’Rourke had to negotiate budget deals with Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.


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