Freshman Rep. Joe Heck (R) of Nevada very narrowly won his race last year, edging past Dina Titus (D). Given his performance thus far, he probably shouldn’t get too comfortable in D.C.
About a month ago, while hosting a town-hall meeting in his district, Heck derided Social Security as a “pyramid scheme.” Two weeks later, under fire, Heck said he “misspoke” and distributed flyers explaining his support for the program.
Tuesday, however, the far-right freshman couldn’t help himself during a radio show. When a caller described Social Security as a “pyramid scheme,” Heck said the caller was “exactly right.”
A day later, at another town-hall gathering, the congressman decided he’d just refuse questions about Social Security altogether.
Republican Rep. Joe Heck on Wednesday was more than happy to answer questions about high school sporting events and Disney’s plans to trademark the “SEAL Team 6” name, but he refused to answer any substantive questions about Social Security.
Heck, who has represented Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District since November, spoke to about 75 constituents at a town hall meeting in Henderson. He took 30 questions from the audience and had time to spare before the scheduled end of the meeting, but he refused to go into depth about his positions on Social Security.
“I’ve given my stance on Social Security,” he said. “I’m not going to comment on that question.”
Heck initially said, because the event was held at an American Legion hall, he would only address questions related to veterans’ issues. It’s probably worth noting then that (a) he answered plenty of other questions that had nothing to do with veterans; and (b) I suspect there are plenty of Americans who care quite a bit about their Social Security benefits.
The congressman also told the audience he’d stick around for additional Q&A after the meeting ended, but then abruptly ran away when approached by reporters.
There are still quite a few folks on the right who believe going after Medicare and Social Security is a political winner for Republicans. It is, after all, a center-right nation, filled with voters who hate the “entitlement culture” and are desperate to slash programs and reduce the debt.
But somehow, the message just doesn’t seem to be resonating.