Campaign Watchdog: Chandler's social security claim 'mostly false'

The Herald-Leader will fact-check statements made by candidates and their surrogates in the campaigns for Lexington mayor, the 6th Congressional District and the U.S. Senate.


The statement: "Meet Andy Barr, a corporate lawyer and lobbyist who wants to privatize Social Security and gamble it in the stock market, funneling your tax dollars to Wall Street while your Social Security benefits are cut."

— U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler D-Versailles, in a television ad that began airing Saturday.

The ruling: Mostly false

The facts: Barr, a Republican lawyer from Lexington making his first run for public office, has not called for privatizing Social Security. He has opposed it in newspaper interviews and in his campaign literature.

To support its claim, Chandler's commercials cite a July 15 interview with Barr on WVLK-AM in Lexington. But Barr did not mention Social Security in that interview. Instead, Barr was asked by a caller whether he would support the conservative budget proposals of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House budget committee.

"Yeah, I mean absolutely. I'm not in Congress now, of course, and I don't have an opportunity to support a particular budget," Barr replied. "But that budget, a leaner budget, is certainly preferable to the ones that have been offered by the president and the speaker of the House."

Ryan's budget proposals include a plan to allow workers under age 55 to privately invest part of their Social Security withholding in personal retirement accounts. In a media release, the Chandler campaign equated Barr's statement on Ryan's budget proposals to an endorsement of Social Security privatization.

John Cheves

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