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Republican congressional candidate Elise Stefanik running away from reporters at press conference.
Elise Stefanik, mid-escape.
Scott Brown hides in bathrooms. Paul Ryan plays dumb. But Rand Paul perfected the escape strategy when it comes to refusing to answer tough questions. That's the route former Bush administration staffer and current Republican House candidate Elise Stefanik (NY-21) took this week when reporters tried to get more out of her than vague talking points on Medicare and Social Security.
"As a member of Congress, I will fight for our seniors and will not vote to make any changes, reductions, or cuts to those in or near retirement," Stefanik said.

But she did not define "near retirement," and she offered no specific proposals regarding her commitment to keep Medicare and Social Security solvent for future generations.

Pressed by a NewsChannel 13 reporter, Stefanik abruptly ended the press conference and walked to her car. She did not enter the senior center, or stay to talk with her supporters.

She ignored two questions about the age range she has in mind for "near retirement," then turned and said, "At or near retirement" when asked a third time.

What's fun about this is that she actually called this press conference, held at a senior center, specifically to tout her support for the programs. But even at just age 29, she's got some political baggage from her previous work, including as an aide to Rep. Paul Ryan and staff on the Romney/Ryan campaign team. Democratic candidate Aaron Woolf isn't going to let voters forget that: "She keeps hiding from the fact that she was a lead author of the 2012 Republican platform that called for the privatization of Social Security and Medicare."

There's a reason Stefanik ran away when reporters tried to get her to talk about what her actual position is on Medicare and Social Security. She knows her position is deeply unpopular. It makes awfully fertile ground for Woolf, and for every Democrat running against a Republican who voted for Ryan's budgets. Running on protecting and strengthening Social Security wins. Even Karl Rove knows that.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 02:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

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