Democrats plan to mark the 75th anniversary of Social Security on Friday by attacking some Republicans' plans to change the long-standing entitlement program.
Democrats will play up some Republicans' calls to privatize part or all of Social Security, which Democrats allege is a cornerstone of the GOP approach to the program.
The efforts on Friday will cap off the second of six themed weeks Democrats have maintained as part of their summer recess strategy. The Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress are expected to join with outside groups and party committees to go after the GOP.
To that effect, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) released a new Web video celebrating the anniversary of Social Security, and will host a call with party Chairman Tim Kaine and James Roosevelt, the grandson of former President Franklin Roosevelt, who created the program, to hammer away at Republicans.
Kaine and Roosevelt are expected to call out by name Republican leaders and candidates on Social Security. They'll name House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, along with GOP Senate candidates Rand Paul (Ky.) and Sharron Angle (Nev.).
A spokesman for Boehner fired back over the Social Security theme.
"Washington Democrats' circular firing squad isn't taking an August recess. Desperate and flailing, Democrats will end the week by attacking their own leaders, including Vice President Biden, Majority Leader [Steny] Hoyer, and Majority Whip [James] Clyburn — all of whom have pushed to raise the Social Security retirement age," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican.
The coordinated effort on Friday could give Democrats a chance to return to their agenda this week after it was sidetracked over the past week by special sessions in Congress, and a controversy between the White House and the liberal base of the party.
House Democrats have had more than 100 events on Social Security over the past week as part of their recess theme.
"It's an extremely potent issue and highlights a serious difference between Democrats and Republicans who want to turn Social Security over to Wall Street bankers," said Doug Thornell, a spokesman for Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the Democrats' House campaign chief.
The White House was left to fend off a firestorm after press secretary Robert Gibbs castigated the "professional left" over its criticism of the administration. Lawmakers were also forced to return to Washington to finish a state-aid bill in the House and to pass a new border security measure, an item for which the Senate had to reconvene to pass. Democrats were largely triumphant over those other two items, though the rare recess work for lawmakers distracted some from the Social Security messaging.
Still, DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse framed the effort as a key element of the party's midterm messaging.
"From Sharron Angle to Rand Paul and from Paul Ryan to John Boehner — Republicans are talking about either phasing out Social Security entirely or making such radical changes to it as to dismantle and make it unrecognizable to the successful program it has been for 75 years," he said.
Woodhouse said that the fall election season would feature "ads, events, rallies and a host of other activity on this issue."
See the video below:
Updated Aug. 13, 9:49 a.m.