Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign has returned to a familiar Democratic refrain in the final weeks of the 2020 campaign: promising to protect Social Security and accusing President Trump of undermining the program.
One of Mr. Biden’s Social Security ads is narrated by an older voter in a long-sleeved union shirt, identified as “Mike” from Wayne County, Mich. “Donald Trump — he’s talking about messing with my Social Security?” says Mike.
“Them guys think it’s monopoly money?” he asks defensively as video flashes of the president with some of his administration officials. “No, it’s our money. We worked for it. You don’t get to play with my financials.”
The ad is tailored to older voters who Mr. Biden has polled better with than past Democrats. “He understands what seniors are going through,” Mike says. “We need to get Biden in there to protect it.”
This particular Biden ad does not make specific claims about Mr. Trump’s plans for Social Security, but other Democratic ads have been more explicit, accusing Mr. Trump of supporting plans that would “wipe out” Social Security.
At issue is that Mr. Trump has expressed support for cutting the payroll tax, which funds Social Security. At the same time, Mr. Trump has said “we’re not going to touch Social Security” and promises to forgive deferred payroll taxes without impacting the program.
The ad also tries to reassure voters that Mr. Biden is going to protect their government benefits. His current plan calls for putting more resources behind Social Security, which would be paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy.
Where It’s Running
The ad — which the Biden campaign has spent nearly $3.2 million on in the last two weeks — is running nationally and in many of the top battlegrounds, including Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Nevada. The top market for the ad is Phoenix, which is home to a large retiree population.
In the closing stretch, many of Mr. Trump’s ads are accusing Mr. Biden of wanting to raise taxes, and many of Mr. Biden’s are focused on Social Security. These campaign tactics show the continued resilience and resonance of those two political standbys — even amid a pandemic.