By Pat Kessler

Tarryl Clark accurately represents what Michele Bachmann said about Social Security. But the ad uses deceptive images that could mislead seniors into thinking they might lose their benefits.

“Michele Bachmann says we need to wean everybody off of Social Security,” says the ad. “Like social security isn’t your money.”


Bachmann did say she wants to “wean everyone off social security.”

“Wean everybody off,” she said, “because we have to take those unfunded net liabilities off our bank sheet.”

Where the ad runs into trouble is when it links drug addicts to grandma.

“Addict. Addict. Addict. Addict,” says the ad, as if flashes images, one by one, of what appear to mugshots of criminals.

The last image, of what appears to be an elderly senior, takes the ad one step too far.

“If Michele Bachmann wants to wean you off Social Security, she sure can’t be trusted to protect it,” says the ad.


Bachmann said in a statement she won’t change Social Security for people who are getting benefits now.

“Rep. Bachmann does not want to end Social Security and Medicare. Absolutely not,” said a spokesman for Bachmann’s Congressional office. “But the truth is, they need to be fixed in how they’re administered because under their current structure, they can’t be maintained without increasing the debt burden placed on future generations. Further, she stated clearly that people who are receiving these benefits now should continue to do so in their current form. We made a promise to them and we need to keep it.”

In public statements, Bachmann said she is “open” to a plan reducing future benefits for those 55 and younger.

And giving future workers other choices, including: staying in the system, or opting out for a personal account that is transferable to other family members.


Despite repeated requests, Bachmann would not provide us with her detailed position on Social Security, and there’s nothing about it on her campaign website.

That’s Reality Check.

To check the resources for this Reality Check, click on the links below.

Tarry Clark Campaign Website
Michele Bachmann Campaign Website
YouTube: “Rehab”
Star Tribune: Ouch! Bachmann touches ‘third rail’ of American politics
Star Tribune: Bachmann ‘does not want to end’ Social Security, Medicare
Bachmann Blog
Michele On The Issues


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