GOP candidates spar on Social Security in debate

AP News
Posted: Sep 12, 2011 10:25 PM
GOP candidates spar on Social Security in debate

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have sparred over Social Security's future during Monday's Republican presidential debate, with each pointing to passages in the other's book that could be damaging in a general election.

Perry has defended calling the entitlement a "Ponzi scheme", a characterization of fraud that Romney calls "unnecessary, over the top" language that scares seniors, a key voting bloc.

Perry says others have used similar language to describe the program and says Romney was just as reckless when he likened the program to a criminal enterprise in his book.

Perry says he would guarantee the program for older Americans but adds that the program needs to be adjusted for younger workers. Romney says the program is essential and is vowing to defend it.