DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (CNN) – Barack Obama told voters here that if John McCain became president he would “privatize” their Social Security – a debate over the program that could resurface as a major issue in the closing weeks of the campaign given the wild swings in financial markets.
“If my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would’ve had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week. Millions would’ve watched as the market tumbled and their nest egg disappeared before their eyes,” he said. “I know Senator McCain is talking about a ‘casino culture’ on Wall Street – but the fact is, he’s the one who wants to gamble with your life savings and that is not going to happen when I’m president. When I’m President, we’re not going to gamble with Social Security.”
The McCain campaign disputed Obama’s assertion calling it “a desperate attempt to gain political advantage using scare tactics and deceit.”
CNN Election Center: Where the candidates stand on Social Security
Obama also highlighted an article McCain penned in this month’s issue of the American Academy of Actuaries magazine, called “Contingencies,” in which he said consumers would have more choices for health insurance products if the market was opened to more “vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking.”
“He wants to run health care like they’ve been running Wall Street. Well, senator, I know some folks on Main Street who aren’t going to think that’s such a good idea,” Obama said.
The Democratic nominee has one more event in Jacksonville before heading to North Carolina for an event Sunday in Charlotte.
The campaign announced Obama will spend several days next week prepping for Friday’s first presidential debate in the Tampa area – a spot along the I-4 corridor which is considered a crucial swing vote region for both candidates.