Donald Trump is going on the attack against potential rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination over Social Security and Medicare, seizing on the same GOP divisions over federal spending that President Biden is seeking to exploit.

Trump moved to wield the issue as a wedge in the primary, particularly against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with a video message last month urging Republicans to use negotiations over raising the debt ceiling to cut spending but not “a single penny” from Social Security or Medicare. He also posted a short video clip of a younger DeSantis praising Paul D. Ryan, the former House budget chairman from Wisconsin who famously proposed replacing Medicare with giving seniors money for private health insurance.

The emphasis reflects potential vulnerability for Republican rivals who were elected to powerful posts in the pre-Trump tea party era, embracing austerity in the last showdown over raising the federal debt limit. As Trump’s campaign has signaled an interest in stoking debate over entitlements, Biden used his State of the Union address on Tuesday to similarly bait Republicans, producing a rowdy spectacle in which they booed his accusation that they want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

“President Trump has been clear where he stands on the issue,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement. “Others will have to decide which side they’re on. And others will have to answer to past positions they’ve taken.”

Not that anyone should trust Trump, but at least he recognizes this as a problem for Republicans. Read more examples of statements Republican presidential hopefuls have made against Social Security and Medicare at the WaPo link.