D'amato: I Can `Tell the Truth' Says Dole Can't Call for Entitlement Cuts

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Providing fresh ammunition to Democrats who say Bob Dole's massive tax cuts could expand the deficit and lead to Medicare cuts, Sen. Alfonse D'Amato of New York says entitlement programs must be trimmed.

"I would never say it if I were him (Dole) until after the election. No way," D'Amato told Don Imus, the radio talk show host. "I mean I'm not running this year, so I can say it and tell the truth."

Opening up a politically touchy subject, D'Amato said Monday that wealthy elderly people should be paying for their Medicare coverage and that automatic cost-of-living increases for retirees should be re-examined.

"Eventually, you're going to have to go to that. There's no doubt about it," said D'Amato, who is chairman of Dole campaign's steering committee but has little influence on campaign policy. "You can't just be cutting discretionary spending . . . and think you're going to do the job."

Retired Gen. Colin Powell said Tuesday that he also thinks entitlements may have to be considered when politicians look for cuts.

"I think they're going to have - I think any party is going to have a difficult time getting all the reductions you need without looking at some of the entitlements," Powell said on CBS' "This Morning. …