Republicans and Democrats alike have been criticizing Pennsylvania’s senior U.S. Senator for his lack of public appearances in the run-up to the November sixth election. Now, with the election just two weeks away and polls showing an ever-tightening race, Democrat Bob Casey has hit the campaign trail with a stop in Hershey.
Casey met with union workers and later discussed how he contrasts with his Republican opponent, Tom Smith. He said there is a stark contrast when it comes to Medicare benefits.
“One side, which happens to be my side, thinks we should not only protect that guaranteed benefit and stop anyone who’s trying to take it away…,” said Casey. “[W]e should take steps to strengthen that guaranteed benefit. That’s what we ought to be doing.”
Smith is proposing reforms to Medicare that would make it no longer a “government-planned system.” Recipients could use their government subsidy to purchase private coverage, which Smith believes would lead to competition and lower prices.
Recent polls show Casey’s once-commanding lead shrinking as Smith, a former coal company owner, spends millions of dollars of his own money on television campaign ads. Casey acts as if the numbers are of little concern to him.
“One benefit of a tightening race is that people are paying close attention to differences.”
Casey went on to sight not only the difference when it comes to Medicare but also the split between the candidates when it comes to income taxes. He said Smith’s proposal to establish a low flat tax rate would create a tax break for the wealthy and hike taxes for the middle class.
The campaign stop comes on the same day that Smith launched a new television ad featuring a coal miner who says he was recently laid off thanks to the Obama administration’s energy policies that, the ad states, were supported by Casey.