Tonight, Congressman John Tierney participated in the first debate of the 2012 campaign, hosted by the non-partisan organization Mass Senior Action Council (MASC), which has hosted past debates with Democrats and Republicans. Congressman Tierney and Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman discussed the issues of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Richard Tisei decided not to participate in the first scheduled debate of the 2012 campaign, which was focused on issues of special concern to seniors.
"I am committed to protecting Medicare and Social Security," Congressman John Tierney told the audience. "There is a lot at stake in this election, especially for seniors. My opponents and I have very different views on the future of these critical programs. I will continue to fight against right-wing efforts to end Medicare, and continue my efforts to strengthen Medicare and Social Security for seniors and future generations."
Tierney criticized his Republican opponent Richard Tisei for supporting the Paul Ryan Budget proposal that will dismantle Medicare. Tierney pointed out that Tisei and a Republican Congress would continue working to pass the Ryan plan that ends Medicare and replaces it with a private voucher system, and that on top of that, Tisei also has said he supports the Simpson-Bowles plan that will cause a 30% cut in Social Security benefits. Tierney drew a stark contrast between his views and the extreme agenda of the right-wing Republicans in Congress.
Tierney told those in attendance that, "Seniors cannot afford the Tisei-Ryan proposal to end Medicare. It's just not right to force seniors to pay more. Americans deserve a secure retirement and I will continue to fight to make sure the middle-class can retire with dignity."
Congressman Tierney demonstrated that Tisei's recent statements about Medicare have been widely debunked by non-partisan fact checking sources, including PolitiFact which called the claims that Tisei made a "pants on fire" lie. Tierney credited Mr. Fishman for participating in tonight's debate, and pointed out that Tisei appears to be running from participating in debates organized by nonpartisan groups of seniors and women.
Richard Tisei has told the Lowell Sun that he will not participate in a debate hosted by the non-partisan, League of Women Voters. Both Tierney and Fishman have agreed to attend, and hope that Tisei will join them for that event.