Romney and Perry (Mike Carlson/AP)In some ways, it was a night of political déjà vu.
In their second face-off in less than a week, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney kicked off Monday night's Republican presidential debate in Florida just as they did last week's forum in New Hampshire, with a spirited debate over the future of Social Security.
Perry opened his remarks with a noticeably softer tone toward the program, which he had previously described as a "Ponzi scheme" and a "miserable failure." This time out, the Texas governor insisted that he's not trying to take away the program from millions of Americans who depend on it for their monthly retirement checks.
"First off, the people who are on Social Security today need to understand something: Slam dunk, guaranteed, that program is going to be there in place" for people currently on Social Security, Perry insisted. "Those individuals that are moving towards being on Social Security, that program's going to be there for them when they arrive there."
But Romney wasn't about to let Perry's previous comments slide. He pressed Perry on his rhetoric, calling it "over the top and unnecessary and frightful to many people."
Perry, in turn, accused Romney of "trying to scare seniors," to which Romney quickly retorted, "The term 'Ponzi scheme' and talk of making it a state program is what scared seniors."
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