Perry-Romney fight over Social Security could flare again Monday
September 9th, 2011
04:48 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry-Romney fight over Social Security could flare again Monday

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – A battle over Social Security between the top two contenders in the race for the GOP nomination that started at this week's presidential debate doesn't show any signs of quieting down, and a presidential debate Monday night in Florida could serve as the setting for round two in the clash.

On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the "Tea Party Republican Debate," live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on CNNPolitics.com and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

It all started Wednesday night, at the debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the new guy in the race and the current frontrunner in the national polls, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the previous frontrunner in the GOP battle, sparred over jobs and social security.

At the debate, Perry stood by earlier comments that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" and that it was a "monstrous lie" to tell young workers that the 74-year-old pension system would be there when they retire. Romney responded at the debate, and since then both candidates have swung at each other through email releases and on social media.

On Sean Hannity's national radio program, Romney went a step further than he did on stage Wednesday night, saying that "if we nominate someone who the Democrats can correctly characterize as being opposed to Social Security, we would be obliterated as a party."

Perry's team fired back, noting that in Romney's policy book "No Apology," the former Massachusetts governor compared the management of Social Security to a felony.

And the Perry campaign started highlighting comments Romney made August 24 in Lebanon, New Hampshire, 11 days after Perry jumped into the race. At a campaign stop, Romney said "Republicans, like myself, are not gonna cut Social Security or Medicare for people who are retired or near retirement. And for the people who say we are, they are demagoguing an issue very much that harms America."

As for Romney's charge that Perry would possibly abolish the popular government program, Perry's team says that the Texas governor believes that Social Security must be protected for current beneficiaries and those nearing retirement age.

The two candidates will once again be standing side by side Monday night, at a CNN Tea Party Republican Debate. CNN and the Tea Party Express, a leading national tea party organization, are teaming up to put on the debate at the Florida State Fairgrounds just outside of Tampa, Florida.

The argument over Social Security could also draw in the other six candidates sharing the stage, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who's making his third bid for the White House, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and former Utah Gov. and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.

While the debate is a GOP affair, Democrats are jumping on the disagreement between Romney and Perry over Social Security. Previewing her trip to Tampa to respond to the debate on Monday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, made clear that the back drop for the debate, a state with a heavy senior population reliant on Social Security and Medicare, would figure prominently into the Democrat prebuttal plans and to their response to the debate itself.

"Now these candidates are coming to Florida – a state with a heavy senior and retiree population. Seniors don't want either Rick Perry or Mitt Romney's approach to dismantling Social Security," said Wasserman Schultz. "Ending Medicare and dismantling Social Security are curious positions for candidates campaigning in Florida – but that's exactly what these Republicans support and believe. At this debate and for the entirety of this campaign we'll make sure voters know it."

– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    So it is a Ponzi Scheme if I set money aside, together with my employer, for my whole working career with the expectation they when I retire I will receive that money back with interest???? How is that a Ponzi Scheme? It sounds like what I do when I put money into the bank. It is called savings and I expect to get it back with interest. Social Security is only a Ponzi Scheme, if those entrusted with it didn't put the money aside like is wise, but instead choose to spend it on Trillion dollars wars, enriching Halliburtion and never did intend on paying it out, like Bernie Madoff. So Mr. Perry, take your big fat hands off my Social Security and don't even think about turning my money over to the Wall Street thugs to steal.

    September 9, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. B

    Nothing more fun than to watch two Republican egos pee on each others shoes..

    September 9, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. ggwindsor

    you all ways here these politicians talk about doing away with social security and health care both fed and state but you never hear them say get rid of there free healthcare or pensions

    September 9, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. annola

    None of the Republicans or the tea party have any solutions to anything. All they have ever done is critcize President Obama. That's been their mantra from day one. No intention of helping to fix the country it's far more important to them to try make him a one term president. Wrap themselves in the flag but all are far from being true patriots!

    September 9, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. TI Dad

    From the sounds of this article, CNN has no intention of having a fair and balanced debate. We can count on Ron Paul getting ignored while CNN interviews the only two candidates THEY are interested in. You disgust me CNN!

    RON PAUL 2012!!!

    September 9, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  6. John

    Please stop writing useless articles and ignoring the top republican candidate...
    Ron Paul 2012!

    September 9, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  7. revoltofthepatriots

    CNN is a joke. Ron Paul is winning in almost every poll, yet he is never mentioned in any articles in the Politics section on CNN's website. Just remember folks CNN,MSNBC,FOX and PBS are more like a home shopping network. And right now they are trying to sell you who you will vote for come next election.

    September 9, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. Patrick from Minnesota

    Who cares. They're both hacks and will bow down to Obama following the 2012 election.

    September 9, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. MaryM

    lol Pery is going to Florida with his SS ponzi statement. He will get booed off the stage

    September 9, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  10. J in NC

    Perry and Romney. Two used car salesmen. After four years of the "community organizer" we could potentially go back to 4 years of Texas? Great. Just what we need. A creationist flat earther douche. If only America would choose door #3 and leave the left and right extremists in the dust but we'll never do it.

    September 9, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  11. Lcrouse

    The Republican/Tea Party would have the citizens of this great nation believe they can run the government better than any other political party, yet they cannot run their own party. The GOP has become the poster child of obstructionism. They are so obsessed with obstruction they are now obstructing their own party candidates, because they don't have the proper right wing mentality.

    September 9, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  12. nate nm

    i'm super annoyed with the media dictating who gets attention in these debates. how about you spend some time asking other candidates questions? like Bachman(the winner of the iowa straw poll) or r paul (the runner up in the straw poll).

    September 9, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  13. independent

    Why is Rick Perry running around the country telling everyone who little they need the federal government, and how inconsequential he wants to make it in their lives. Meanwhile, Texans are being burned out of their heath and homes begging for federal assistance. I think Rick Perry is sending the wrong message.

    In fact, several GOTParty candidates even want to do away with FEMA, the part of the Federal Government that arrives first during disasters. Maybe the people of Texas should tell the GOTParty to get out of the way.

    September 9, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  14. diridi

    This Texas idiot is nasty idiot, says social security is Panzy Scheme, and wants to secede Texas from union....we need stricter immigration, Texas is full of cheap labor....stop it....it includes foreign doctors.....we need to use more PAa in Medical field, they are the best doctors....my doctor is a PA......do not play politics...o.k,

    September 9, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  15. ObamaCares

    Privatize social security and we'll have a collapse worse than Enron, anyone remember Enron? Folk lost their shirts and a lot more. Americans, don't buy the stuff these t-rags are peddling.

    September 9, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. TJeff1776

    "Those drawing SS NOW will not be harmed" the twins say. Sheeeeeeesh. But then, the Repubs fought FDR tooth and nail back in 1937. Employers at ALL levels contribute equally with the employee into SS; but BIG BUSINESS wants to stop
    and its THEY that foot the bills of these Repubs. What a straw in the hats of these conser IF they could accomplish that feat. When, and if, they do- then the "take-over" will be complete; that is, the lower 90% will be entirely financially enslaved.

    September 9, 2011 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  17. John

    Rick Perry Is a trader to America In the First case. He wanted Texas to secede from the Union In 2008, and this Is treason. He should be put In Jail ,Not let run for President. And I think anybody that saying they are going to do away with SS Isn't going to win anything. They are to many people that work all there life and pay Into SS and not get anything out of It.

    September 9, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  18. Henry

    I like it when Four and the Door and Rickster and the other Pukes get going. They should at least have stayed off this thread because they are clearly not comfortable. Go find a Fox News thread. That will be more to your liking.

    Have a great weekend.

    September 9, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  19. jamesnyc

    Why isn't Perry back in Texas doing his job as Governor while Texas burns?

    September 9, 2011 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  20. bg

    It's like Wasserman didn't even read their quotes or watch the debates. What qualifies her to comment in this story?

    September 9, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  21. NamCbtVet

    Let them feud. Neither one is "conservative" enough to get the nomination in a wacko TP controlled convention.

    Obama is in for another four; there are not enough votes on the edge of flat earth to make it otherwise.

    September 9, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  22. Sonny

    Let's see if CNN asks RnPL more than 3 questions. Likely they will try to do their best to ignore him and focus the entire thing on Romney and Perry. The media thinks they can decide who the candidate is – can't wait to prove them wrong!

    September 9, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  23. beevee

    it is getting exciting now – These two clowns fighting to get an upper hand in GOP nomination process. May be the GOP should arrange for a boxing match and let these clowns fight it out till both of them get KOd. May be Mitt Romney is a bit of a better fighter than the texas thug. Just looking at his pictures in news makes you wonder if he is presidential material. So unpolished.

    September 9, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  24. Ponzi

    I work and contribute to the Social Security. But if I've given the choice, I'd rather keep the money myself than give it to the system that when I retire THERE IS NO MORE MONEY LEFT. This system is ROBBING people's money!

    September 9, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  25. Ponzi

    And the hard thing to accept is I know of people who DOESN'T CONTRIBUTE TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM and yet are the ones benefiting FIRST long before I retire. No wonder this SS is going bankrupt in a few more years.

    September 9, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
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