Controversial Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) excited the left on Saturday after a clip from her speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) provided fodder heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
While Republicans have largely avoided talking about policy while instead focusing on manufactured culture wars outrages, Boebert laid out her vision.
“We’re here to tell government we don’t want your benefits. We don’t want your welfare,” she said.
“Don’t come knocking on my door with your Fauci ouchie,” she said, probably referring to the effort to go door-to-door in with information about where to get a coronavirus vaccine.
“You leave us the hell alone,” the GOP congresswoman said.
The idea of cutting Medicare and Social Security has often been called the “third rail” of American politics in reference to the electoral lethality of going after the popular programs.
Democrats were ecstatic, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged Boebert on.
“Tell ’em loud and proud girl! GOP will strip your unemployment protections and dismantle any semblance of a public safety net we have left!” Ocasio-Cortez posted to Twitter.
Occasional New York Daily News columnist Brandon Friedman noted how harshly cutting benefits would impact veterans.
“Republican congresswoman wants to end VA healthcare, VA disability payments and the GI Bill for America’s veterans. Can’t wait till the vets in her district find out!” he said.
Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson looked at how Democrats could exploit Boebert’s speech for political gain.
“GOP wants to repeal the rescue plan and take back your $1,400 checks,” Ferguson said.
“Lauren Boebert’s restaurant received a $233,305 PPP check and she receives a $174,000 taxpayer-funded salary,” podcaster Brian Tyler Cohen wrote.
“This is one step removed from promising to get the government’s hands off of Medicare,” said The Washington Post‘s Helaine Olen.
Georgetown Prof. Don Moynihan noted a 2011 poll showing that 70% of Tea Partiers did not want to cut Medicare.
“One thing that has proven true again and again is that people actually like and want the government benefits that they get,” he wrote.
Chef Andrew Zimmern said, “Dangerous, uninformed, naive, … someone should show the congressperson who in her district uses fed benefits of all kinds.”
MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan questioned if Boebert’s plan would work.