Perry-Romney fight over Social Security could flare again Monday
September 9th, 2011
04:48 PM ET
11 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 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. Terry Gloege

    Who cares what these two idiots have to say about anything? As soon a Sarah The Great enters the race everyone else will be history. Hail Queen Sarah.

    September 9, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The Bush Tax Cuts didn't create jobs and prosperity at the start of this century. The recession Bush was trying to cure was caused by Greenspan over-adjusting the prime rate to slow down growth. Greenspan raised rates to record levels, and then raised them at least half a dozen more times over the span of a few months.

    The economy stalled as a result. Greenspan wanted to slow down the economic boom, and succeeded. Economic growth resumed when the rates were lowered back to sensible levels. It is mere coincidence that this correction occured when Bush enacted his tax cuts. Bush though a surplus was bad. He felt that paying down the deficit, which the GOP had harped upon during the Clinton years, was not important. Cheney chimed in with, "Deficits don't matter." Bush's own economic advisor warned the policy could result in trillion dollar annual deficits within a decade, and was rewarded with a pink slip.

    And now we have the same ideology trying to seek power again. Disaster awaits us.

    September 9, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Blame Will Not Work wrote:
    Well, all you "wish we had something good to show for 2 years, Obambi Lovers" know good & well what our new President, Rick Perry was saying! The way SS has been & still goes is the same as a PONZI scheme

    If it is a ponzi scheme, then why did it run a surplus for decades? That was when roughly 5.5 people paid into the system for every recipient who collected. Then came Reagan who wanted to cut SSI taxes to do away with the surplus. Today we have roughly 3 workers paying into the system for every recipient. Current laws that lower the top limit for paying SSI, will cause the ratio to drop to 2.5:1 within a decade.

    That is what is wrong with SSI. Tax cuts and rate changes have turned into a Ponzi scheme. When unemployment rises over 4%, then we do not have enough people paying into the system.

    September 9, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    I'm sure a lot of these Tea Party folks get Social know that "socialism stuff' like Medicare they also get, but they still love Rick Perry. Perry did do a wink and a nod when he says that the ones on SS right now would still get it so I am guessing that went over well with the blue hairs that are Tea Partiers. What a bunch of loons.

    September 9, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Albert Friday

    Romney-care is doing the same thing to Massachusetts as Obama-care is going to do to the US. We don’t need Obama or Romney. Go Perry!

    September 9, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  6. Lisa S.

    We all enjoy a good GOP implosion.....let 'em rip!

    September 9, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. dreucalypt

    Perry's craziness will damage Romney too, since it will give everyone the impression that Perry is saying what Romney would say too if he dared.

    September 9, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  8. Dave

    If you privatize Social Security, it will turn into the massive failure that is the health insurance industry-scam.

    If Perry wants to abolish SS, then he must pay me, every dime I've put in. If he doesn't, then there will be a revolution.

    September 9, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  9. G D

    IInstead of complaining about these programs, they all should address the underlying facts & U.S. values. If we are a country that will take care of our old & sick to some level, then it has to be paid for. If we're going to allow all those in need to just end up on the streets to perish, then say so. But to have no plan articulated is the largest embarrassment about these 2 & the other GOP candidates. I want leadership change, but I don't see leadership here.

    September 9, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. Yarddog 379

    This is the best the Republicans can field? A Texas yahoo that wanted to secede from the Union and a corporate puppet that thinks "corporations are people"? These are the one's who care about you, your mortgage, your kid's college fund? If they cut corporate taxes, you will pay the difference. If they could, they would abolish Social Security, Medicare, etc. Seniors, wake up. These are two examples of the greed and narcissism that is trying to abolish the midlle class.

    September 9, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Pat

    Oh my gosh Sylvia Saint – you mean you want a logical answer to a logical question? Good luck with that!

    September 9, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Florida Joe

    Obviously some were not listening when our President said the $485 billion would be fully funded & paid for....Kinda different from Bush with his unfunded TARP, 2 Wars, Medicare Part D....Oh what memories of convenience these Repubs have.......

    September 9, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. Pat

    Sylvia Saint has a good point. If these guys think SS should be eliminated at some point in the future, will they return everyone's money to them. Even if "people who are close to retiring" won't be affected, as these guys say, a lot of people have paid into the system and won't be able to collect anything. That's several trillion dollars my friends.

    September 9, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Pat

    For those of you who want the Federal gov't to have a balanced budget, and think the gov't should run "just like we run our personal lives" – do any of you have mortgages, credit card debt, or car loans? I'll vote for a balanced budget amendment when you all vote to forbid any personal or business borrowing of any type. And good luck with that!

    September 9, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Larry L

    The only reason the GOP gives Social Security any time is their fear of the elderly voters. The rich don't need Social Security and the financial district wants the money invested in their "ponzi schemes" – a plan generally supported by Republicans. How well would Bush's recommendation for self-investment have worked out after the economy tanked? How long would it take those theives in the banking industry to dupe the elderly or poorly educated out of their Social Security investment? Republicans want the votes of the elderly as well as their money!

    September 9, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. Really?

    I notice couple posters seem stuck on the GOP talking point of the deficit. The deficit is not as big a deal as many would have us believe. Once we get the country working and producing again. The deficit will be manageable and will be easy to pay off.

    September 9, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Mindie from India

    yea we all know what mittens and cowboy jack said – All Republicans are like Elise on Hells Kitchen – Can't get along with ANYBODY. And you people want one of these clowns to be potus?

    September 9, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  18. Really?

    Hey Blame, funny you mention no one left to blame and then blame Obama. You can try all you want and hope the public forgets who created this huge mess, but a recent poll shows you will not get them to forget. 81% blame Bush. This is a monumental mess we are facing and it won't be cleaned up in a couple years and probably not in 10 years. One thing is for certain. We don't need a Bush clone in the WH right now to sink us back down to were we started when Bush left office.

    September 9, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Enough!

    This crap is so framed and manufactured by the media for their own personal benefit that it makes me sick

    September 9, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. Bruce

    Hey, even the Repoublicans' goddess Ayn Ranb took Social Security in the her final years. Of course, she didn't have the guts to take it under her own name, but accepted it as a widow under her husband's name. So much, for the great capitalist! What a fraud!

    September 9, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. Bruce

    Make that, Ayn Rand, of course.

    September 9, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. RON PAUL 2012

    Perry and Romney are obsilete. Corporate tools and propaganda wh****, just like Obama. It is all about the one man Americans can trust has their best interest at heart, RON PAUL 2012!!!!

    September 9, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. RON PAUL 2012

    Go for the man who understands economics and does not need a teleprompter to speak the facts. Go for the man who cares about his country. Vote for RON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. RON PAUL 2012

    Ron Paul made Rick Perry look like a joke.

    September 9, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Rollins

    To whom it may concern, STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM MY SOCIAL SECURITY!! thank you!

    September 9, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8