Senate Democratic Group Targets Blake Masters Over Social Security

The campaign arm of the Senate Democrats released a new ad Monday attacking the comments made by Arizona Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters about Social Security during a primary debate in June.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) ad, titled “Privatize,” claims that Masters would privatize Social Security, a stance he put forward during the primaries before withdrawing from the idea last month.

“Blake Masters wants to cut taxes for billionaires,” the ad begins. “And to pay for it? He said he would scrap and privatize our social security system.”

The spot plays a clip from a June 23 debate during the primary game.

“Right? Maybe we should privatize Social Security?” says Masters in the clip.

The ad later accuses the GOP candidate of “wanting to gamble everything on the stock market”.

Masters distanced himself from the comments last month, telling The Arizona Republic in an interview that he “probably” wanted to increase payments and encourage younger Americans to invest, possibly by raising limits on Roth IRAs.

“I don’t want to privatize Social Security,” he told the newspaper. “I think, in context, I was talking about something completely different. We cannot change the system. We can’t take the rug off seniors. I will never, ever be in favor of cutting back on social security.”

The Hill has reached out to the Masters campaign for comment.

The DSCC said in a statement that the ad campaign is part of the group’s $33 million ad reservation this fall, including $7.5 million allocated for the Arizona race.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican super-PAC aligned with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), canceled reservations late last month for Arizona ads to air between Sept. 6 and Oct. 3, reportedly worth of about $8 million.

Saving Arizona PAC, a pro-Masters group initially funded by venture capitalist Peter Thiel during the primary campaign, launched its first television campaign for Masters since becoming the nominee on Friday. Politico reported that the group is now operating without Thiel’s funding.

Masters, who was backed by former President Trump in his primaries, hopes to impeach incumbent Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), who faces a tough reelection battle this year in one of the most closely watched interim Senate races.

Republicans are largely seen as favored to reverse control of the House, but Democrats hope to retain their wafer-thin Senate majority.

Unbiased election analyst FiveThirtyEight’s prediction for Monday suggests Republicans have a 74 percent chance of overturning the House, but a 31 percent chance of overturning the Senate. The prediction indicates Kelly has a 74 percent chance of keeping his seat.

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