Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley said Thursday night that he opposed cutting Social Security and Medicare to help erase the nation’s ballooning deficits and debt.
Breaking with a suggestion by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Hawley said that if cuts needed to be made, lawmakers should look at taking federal dollars from the Affordable Care Act.
“I do not support cutting Social Security or Medicare. I think it is vital we protect these programs that Americans have paid into with their hard-earned cash,” Hawley said at an hourlong, televised debate against his rival, Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Hawley, Missouri’s attorney general, and McCaskill, who is seeking her third term, are in a neck-and-neck race that could decide the partisan makeup of the Senate.