Republican Allen Quist on Friday disputed a campaign mailer that claims he wants to end Medicare and accused his opponent, Rep. Tim Walz, of being behind it.
The mailing, paid for the by state Democratic Party, said the former state lawmaker from St. Peter supports a plan to privatize Medicare, replacing it with a voucher program.
“This is totally false,” Quist said.
The DFL based its claims on a Mankato Free Press report citing Quist’s support for the Republican Study Committee, which aims to eliminate the deficit in five years, in part through privatization of Medicare.
Quist’s campaign spokeswoman, Julie Quist, said he does not support the Republican Study Committee plan — only the five-year timeline.
DFL Communications Director Kate Monson also cited a tweet by New Ulm Journal reporter Josh Moniz from an April primary debate in which he said Quist supported Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, though with a more aggressive timeline.
But Moniz said Quist also went on to say he would not touch Medicare.
As evidence for Walz’s involvement, Quist pointed to Walz’s most recent campaign finance statement, which showed two transfers to the state party totaling $135,000.
“It’s all obviously being paid for by the Walz campaign,” he said.
The Walz campaign referred questions to the state party. Monson said candidates routinely transfer money to the party for voter mobilization and other coordinated efforts.
“To say that transferring a certain amount of money to this thing is false,” she said. “That’s not how it’s done. We are responsible for that mailing and we stand by the message.”
Asked how he knew that money was for the mailing, Quist said, “It’s always hard to prove the obvious.”