Karl Rove is warning Republicans that Rick Perry’s harsh take on Social Security, which he’s repeatedly labeled a “ponzi scheme,” is politically “toxic” to Republicans and Democrats alike.
“They are going to have to find a way to deal with these things,” Rove said Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America. “They’re toxic in a general election environment and they are also toxic in a Republican primary. And if you say Social Security is a failure and ought to be replaced by a state level program, then people are going to say ‘What do you mean by that?’ and make a judgment based on your answer to it.”
Rove was referring to interviews in which Perry’s has suggested Social Security is unconstitutional and that states should be able to opt out of the program. Of course, that was before he began running for president, but after briefly wavering it looks like Perry’s decided to double down on his rhetoric.
Rove used to be a top political adviser to Perry, but the two aren’t exactly on the best terms these days. Recently he pounced on the governor for suggesting Fed Chair Ben Bernanke would be “almost treasonous” and face an “ugly” welcome in Texas if the Federal Reserve printed more money.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.