More than a dozen concerned senior citizens turned up at Tea Party Republican congressional candidate Garry Cobb’s headquarters on Haddonfield Road demanding answers on whether he would protect them from prospective changes in Medicare and Social Security, among other issues of concern to voters over 65. 

The residents were compelled to act after the AARP published its online voter guide, available at vote.aarp.org. In it, Cobb took no position on inquiries relating to Social Security or Medicare, and instead offered only the following statement with regard to ensuring financial security for seniors as they age: “We will need to look out for and help our senior citizen neighbors. As community members, we should make sure that they’re okay before we leave for work each morning, and we should develop the habit of checking on them when we come home from work.”

The seniors expressed outrage at his unsettling comments. “Honestly, is Mr. Cobb talking about his plan for seniors, or his cat? He has to be confronted now so seniors, the most active voters in America, will know what they’re in for, in case he wins. For one thing, he should know we are people, not pets,” said Sonny DiSabato of Pennsauken.

Haddon Township Resident Mike Verdi agreed after reading the AARP voter guide. “Garry Cobb’s only plan for seniors is for our neighbors to check on us in the morning and at night? I guess we’ll need it after he and his Tea Party friends take our Social Security and Medicare and give it all to Wall Street,” said Verdi. “Come over to my house Garry, and bring me some humble pie.”

Joy McKenna Merullo, retired director of the Camden County Office of Aging, said she was urged to lead the protest from baby boomer friends and former clients who knew her from the 20 years she spent serving seniors. “We are worried because his comments in news stories, his website and elsewhere indicate he is in lock step with Tea Party extremists who, we fear, in their hearts would prefer a voucher system that will end up costing us thousands of dollars more a year,” said Ms. Merulla. “I am 58 now and I, too, am scared the Tea Party crowd will leave us high and dry. South Jersey’s seniors can’t afford what they have in store for us.” 

While the AARP does not endorse any candidate for elected office, their annual voter guide is required reading for many seniors as they weigh the candidates and issues. Meanwhile, the Alliance for Retired Americans, a nationwide senior advocacy organization with over 4 million members, has endorsed Donald Norcross in the 1st Congressional District. 

In announcing their endorsement for Norcross, Alliance President Barbara Easterling said the following: “Donald Norcross’ leadership on issues such as preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare from privatization and benefit cuts ensures these programs will be around for current and future generations. The Alliance for Retired Americans believes that his election to Congress will lead to an enhanced quality of life for older Americans.”

Source: Voter Guide Link: http://vote.aarp.org/pdf-race/USHouseNewJerseyDistrict1-10648095.pdf