A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama Wrong on AARP Endorsement


At his town hall event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, President Obama went too far in claiming the support of AARP:

Obama: We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors. …

[A]nother myth that we’ve been hearing about is this notion that somehow we’re going to be cutting your Medicare benefits. We are not. AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare, okay?

But AARP, while in support of overhauling the health care system, hasn’t endorsed any bill. AARP Chief Operating Officer Tom Nelson issued a statement, saying: "While the President was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate."

Nelson said AARP had been "working with Democrats and Republicans to fix our broken health care system" and added: “We share the President’s commitment to act this year, and our members appreciate his insistence that any final reform package will not reduce Medicare benefits for the millions of people that literally depend on that program as a lifeline."

A hat tip to ABC News’ Political Punch blog for writing about this claim.