Jul 23, 2015 7:44 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
GORHAM – Jeb Bush is defending his comments about reforming Medicare.
And the former Florida governor tells NH1 News that Democratic attacks on what he said are “just ridiculous.”
At a town hall Thursday in northern New Hampshire, the Republican presidential candidate was questioned by a senior citizen over his comments at an event Wednesday night that was organized by Americans for Prosperity, when he said that “we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they’re not going to have anything.”
The female questioner at the town hall in Gorham asked “I’ve paid into it for all these years, just like all these other seniors. Now you want to take it away.”
“No, no, no, no, no,” Bush responded.
“Yes, that’s what you said this morning,” responded the woman, talking about the coverage of Bush that she saw on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.
“I didn’t say that,” Bush responded.
“We’re not going to have adequate coverage for our children or our grandchildren without Medicare. I paid into that for years and years, just like all these other seniors here, and now you want to take it away?” said the woman, who didn’t give her name before leaving before the town hall concluded.
“Why are you always attacking the seniors?” she asked.
“Well, I’m not,” Bush responded.
“Here’s what I said. I said, ‘We’re going to have to reform our entitlement system.’ We have to.”
“It’s not an entitlement,” the woman quickly fired back. “I earned that.”
“It’s an actuarialy unsound health care system,” said Bush, added that action was needed before Medicare burdens future generations with billions in debt.
“The people that are receiving these benefits, I don’t think that we should touch that; but your children and grandchildren are not going to get the benefit of this that they believe they’re going to get, or that you think they’re going to get, because the amount of money put in compared to the amount of money the system costs is wrong,” Bush said.
Bush tells Washington Post Democratic attacks “just ridiculous”
Talking to reporters following the event, Bush was asked by NH1 News about the feisty exchange.
“She wasn’t that feisty. She was a nice lady,” Bush said.
Asked if he’s talking about replacing Medicare with a new system, Bush told NH1 News “I talked about reforming the system.”
“Clearly we have a Medicare program that’s not going to be around 30 years from now in form that is, because the deficits that we’ve accumulated by not changing it are extraordinary. So to fix, to reform it, is the way you protect it for future generations. And as I mentioned last night, this is not about changing the program for people who already have it,” Bush added.
Following his Wednesday night comments, Democrats quickly criticized Bush. And top Democratic party officials held a Thursday afternoon conference call to continue their attack.
“Once again, Jeb Bush has shown that he just doesn’t get it on the issues that matter to middle class families. Maybe Jeb Bush can afford to get by without Medicare. I’m sure the Koch brothers would be fine too. But millions of Americans are counting on Medicare when they retire for access to quality, affordable health care,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Party.
“This is just the latest chapter in a long book of Republicans trying to destroy Medicare or turn it over to corporations. Nearly the entire Republican field supported Paul Ryan’s efforts to end Medicare as we know it," add New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, a DNC vice-chairman.
Bush responded to the barrage of criticism, telling NH1 News that “I don’t think anybody can deny that our entitlement challenges are real. We can play like they’re not real and just allow them to compound out. But if you assume that they’re real, then rather than demonize someone or take what they say out of context or attack them for saying that we need to reform the system, maybe we outta join hands and try to solve the problem. And my statement last night was the left just wants to demonize anybody that suggests that there’s a problem. And it took less than a day for me to be attacked for the very thing that I predicted would happen. And that’s just ridiculous. We need to have a grown up conversation about these issues.”
5 hours 12 minutes agoPolice say Martin De Los Santos was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. (More)
22 hours 42 minutes agoOne New Hampshire woman is facing several charges after police say she tried to steal a 1-year-old child out of a moving vehicle. (More)
6 hours 56 minutes agoA Haverhill, Mass., man is facing charges after police say he shoved the boy while in a ball pit at a party rental space...
7 hours 23 minutes agoThe home's cluttered interior caused problems for firefighters responding to the early-morning blaze Monday. (More)
Jul 23, 2017 10:53 AMA New Hampshire teen crashed into a tree sending both himself and his passenger to the hospital. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 8:34 PMAccording to Fish and Game officials, one New Hampshire man has been pronounced dead after kayakers find him in the Upper Ammonoosuc River. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 6:20 PMA police officer in New Hampshire was assisted by one local resident when trying to apprehend a fleeing suspect. (More)
Jul 21, 2017 3:56 PMIf you want to make a splash, you should look (at this story) before you leap. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 7:41 PMAuthorities in Massachusetts say a woman has been charged in connection with the death of her boyfriend. (More)
Jul 22, 2017 9:42 AMThe New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says emergency responders have removed the body of a hiker whose body was found in the Dry...
Jul 21, 2017 2:59 PMWhen the next car pulled up to the traffic detail, she frantically told police that a cat was trapped on the roof of the...
Jul 20, 2017 2:34 PMWork has begun on the property that will soon house New Hampshire's newest indoor gun range. (More)
Jul 21, 2017 8:41 AMThunderstorms hit quickly in parts of central and southern NHThursday afternoon, producing wind gusts powerful enough to knock down trees and power lines. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 9:53 AMThe Salem man's suit seeks $5.5 million for punitive damages after his car was towed and stored by a Methuen, Mass., company after an...
Jul 21, 2017 7:37 AMThe body of a New Jersey man who went missing in the White Mountains was found Thursday. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 5:11 PMNearly 4,000 customers are without power. (More)
Jul 20, 2017 4:27 PMAn investigation has determined that a gas-powered generator is to blame for the carbon monoxide poisoning death of a man in Litchfield earlier this...
Jul 20, 2017 11:16 AMThe owner of a truck may be facing charges after leaving his dog in a truck Wednesday afternoon when the temperature was in the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:15 AMChester police officer conducts adorable "traffic stop" on Edwards Mill Road Tuesday night. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 3:56 PMThe neighborhood where a 6-year-old boy apparently overdosed is familiar with the opioid crisis. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 5:38 PMThe community is mourning Ciara Brill who passed away Tuesday after battling a rare brain cancer. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 2:27 PMA Maine woman who fled to safety amid a deadly rampage says her boyfriend's father promised not to hurt her as he killed his...
Jul 20, 2017 7:11 AMArizona Sen. McCain tells Sen. Lindsey Graham, "I'll be back" following treatments after cancer discovered cancerous tumor last week. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 10:27 AMNew Hampshire is likely to get the second heat wave of the summer the next few days. Some tips on how to beat the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:22 AMAMR personnel revived a 6-year-old boy with Narcan after they found him unresponsive in Manchester. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 9:38 AMThe Manchester Veterans Administration hospital reported a "catastrophic mechanical failure" at about 4 a.m. which flooded parts of the facility. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:19 AMSeveral area fire departments help fight the afternoon fire. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:49 AMA New Hampshire lobsterman has joined an elite club after catching a rare blue lobster. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:22 PMA new study shows boxed macaroni and cheese has more than 4 times the amount of harmful chemical than other cheeses. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 8:13 PMNH will become the 22nd state in the nation to decriminalize simple marijuana possession thanks to a bill Governor Sununu signed into law Tuesday....
Jul 18, 2017 12:45 PMA Troy man faces 20 charges after he allegedly fled from police while drunken driving. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:18 PMA former dean of students at Pembroke Academy was in court Tuesday following two previous missed appearances. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:10 PMRochester Police had previously gotten reports that the wanted man would 'not be taken alive' and 'would shoot any officer that tried arresting him.'...
Jul 17, 2017 4:04 PMEight-month-old baby Colton recently diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:16 PMSununu ranked towards the middle of the pack, coming in as the 19th most approved governor with a 57 percent approval rating. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 1:05 PMNew Hampshire's attorney general says a search is being conducted at a home where the bodies of two women were found in January. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 3:32 PMPolice arrest a New Hampshire man after witnesses say he dragged a woman out of his vehicle, punched her, and left her unconscious in...
Jul 17, 2017 2:06 PMA boating accident that killed a 12-year-old girl happened after her father's hat blew from his head. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 3:49 PMThose who visited Hampton Beach during the afternoon on July 9 should monitor themselves for measles symptoms. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 9:54 AMSkywatchers were buzzing over the weekend about a potential sighting of the northern lights, but most missed out on the bright lights known as...
Jul 16, 2017 4:23 PMThe Veterans Affairs Office is launching a review of the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center following allegations of poor conditions and patient care. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 7:48 AMPolice say the three occupants of a 1993 Mustang were not properly restrained. Injuries came after the car hit a boulder and rolled over....
Jul 16, 2017 8:43 PMAfter a tough race, Denny Hamlin took home his first victory in nearly 28 races with the NASCAR series. (More)
Jul 15, 2017 2:49 PMThe New Hampshire State Police announced that they will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint in Bedford during the weekend of July 28, 2017. (More)
Jul 16, 2017 3:08 PMSpace weather forecasters say that a recent explosion on the sun could lead to a rare display of the bright dancing lights known as...
Jul 15, 2017 6:54 PMAn event celebrating the opening of a brand new indoor seating area at an NH Ben and Jerry's featured live music, face painting, and...
Jul 14, 2017 7:05 PMThe study shows that only 199 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 New Hampshire residents in 2015. (More)
Jul 14, 2017 11:18 AMManchester police said they participated in "Operation Poison Ivy" to improve the quality of life for residents who live in the area of Enright...
Jul 14, 2017 9:54 AMA dying veteran's wish is to hear from you. (More)