SSSC/SSW mention **
The Hill (DC)
Liberals slam Obama on Social Security
“My jaw dropped,” said Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition and campaign, which includes the AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org Political Action, and the Service Employees International Union. “My reaction was, ‘Then Mr. President, you don’t know the governor’s record on Social Security.’”
SSSC/SSW mention **
Huffington Post (NAT)
Obama's Social Security Answer Leaves Democrats Utterly Baffled
"Oh my God," said Eric Kingson, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security campaign. "That is really very sad. Mitt Romney has written about it in one of his books ... It also speaks to a lack of appreciation for the importance of this institution to our country ... It really is remarkable that a Democratic president at this point in time would not draw a very dramatic line. They probably have to say, 'I made a mistake, I misspoke.'"
Huffington Post (NAT)
The Winning Card: Obama and Democrats Need Social Security and Medicare
Richard (RJ) Eskow
The president didn't mention the deeply unpopular Republican attempt to privatize Social Security, which was spearheaded by Romney's running mate and would have led to financial catastrophe for millions of people after the 2008 crisis. (Which, he might have added, was created by financiers not unlike Mitt Romney.) The Reagan/O'Neill mention was also significant. It's been clear for a long time that the President almost venerates the Social Security agreement those two leaders made in the 1980s. But that agreement was striking because Reagan and O'Neill shared a characteristic which both the president and Mr. Romney lack: They were passionate and eloquent voices for their political philosophies. Their agreement was remarkable, not because they weren't "ideological" (a word which has been unfairly tarnished in today's Washington) but because they were. You can't "rise above your differences" if you don't express those differences.
National Women’s Law Center (NAT)
No, Senator Simpson, We Won't Quit Talking about the Poor and Vulnerable
Simpson and his former fiscal commission co-chair, Erskine Bowles, have co-founded a new "fix-the-debt" campaign. The campaign has already raised nearly $30 million with the backing of billionaire Peter J. Peterson and a CEO Council. Politico reports Simpson and Bowles are making a comeback, and looking to retool their deficit reduction package to "decrease the amount of revenue it raises – to address those concerns from the right regarding tax increases." Since we believe in arithmetic, we're guessing that a new Simpson-Bowles plan with even less revenue than the original plan means deeper cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and more. Sorry, Senator Simpson – those cuts affect real people, not just numbers on a balance sheet. We won't quit talking about them.
Saporta Report (GA)
Erskine Bowles, Johnny Isakson, Sam Nunn — three wise men say now is the time to fix our fiscal problems
“That’s now been put into legislative language, and it’s now 650 pages,” said Bowles, admitted that the drafted legislation as written is much harder to understand. “We now have about 47 members of the Senate who have endorsed it. We are making big progress with little to no leadership from Congress and the administration.” Isakson also was cautiously optimistic saying that he believed the number of Senators supporting the legislation likely could hit the magic number of 60 (enough to avoid a filibuster) after the election. That would open the door of actually getting something done. Bowles said he believed that there could be as many as 67 votes in the Senate during the lame-duck Congress that would be willing to “take our recommendations and adopt the framework of this plan…”
NBC Politics (NAT)
Debate focuses attention on what Social Security 'tweak' might mean for workers
“Social Security is structurally sound,” Obama told Lehrer. “It's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker -- Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill. But it is -- the basic structure is sound.”
Previously Social Security got fleeting attention in the campaign for a comment Vice President Joe Biden made to a man in a Virginia coffee shop in August when he said, “I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security." It wasn’t clear whether Biden meant no changes for anyone at all -- or simply no changes for those currently getting benefit payments.
Fire Dog Lake (Blog)
Romney Has Been Consistent on Social Security: Raise Retirement Age, Progressive Price Indexing
Romney’s views on Social Security have been known for some time, then. He wants to cut benefits. He explicitly rejects increasing taxes of any kind to narrow the funding gap, including lifting the Social Security payroll tax cap from the current $110,000 in income. The President re-endorsed raising the payroll tax cap just last month. So when Obama said that he and Romney have a “somewhat similar position” on Social Security, either we need to learn FAR more about Obama’s position or he just blew the question. Because Romney’s position on Social Security is crystal clear.
Candidates get confrontational on Social Security, Medicare
The first presidential debate took a more confrontational tone as questions shifted from general comments on the economy to the future of Social Security and Medicare.
"Social Security is structurally sound," President Barack Obama said.
On entitlements, Obama also took a veiled shot at Mitt Romney's criticism of the 47 percent of Americans the GOP nominee says do not pay federal income taxes. "The name itself implies some sense of dependency on the part of these folks. These are folks who have worked hard," Obama said, "and there are millions of people out there who are counting on this."
After the debate debacle for Obama, we’ll find out if we have a race
Even on the most basic political points, Obama seemed clueless. When you argue as a Democrat that you and your Republican opponent share wide areas of agreement on Social Security—especially when recipients make up a chunk of Romney’s “47 percent” of indolent spongers—you have thrown in a fistful of high cards.
What remains is one key question that the next 48 to 72 hours will answer: Did this debate change the minds of significant numbers of voters? Assuming that the flash polls are right—that most viewers thought Romney won the debate—did they regard that as a loss for “their” team, or did it persuade some of them to change their minds about whom they are supporting,
Chicago Tribune (NAT)
Romney, Obama both like Simpson-Bowles plan, to a point
Romney, though, said he would "absolutely" not support raising revenue as a way to reduce the deficit. "Simpson-Bowles tried to get at the deficit reduction by a mixture of revenue increases and spending cuts and Romney's plan is all on the expenditure side," said Howard Chernick, an economics professor at Hunter College in New York. Obama, for his part, said his $4 trillion deficit reduction plan was based on Simpson-Bowles, but analysts might disagree with that characterization.
Wilton Bulletin (CT)
McMahon statements make Social Security, Medicare hot campaign issues
Ms. McMahon suggests there should have been a review of Social Security to examine it after it was put in place and then states, "In other words, I believe in sunset provisions when we pass this kind of legislation, so that you take a look at it 10, 15 years down the road to make sure that it's still going to fund itself. Social Security will run out of money if we continue to do what we're doing, if we rob the trust fund, if we think that there's any money there, there's not."
ABC News (NAT)
Joe Biden Courts Seniors, Blasts Romney-Ryan on Social Security, Medicare
“If Gov. Romney’s plan goes into effect, it could mean that everyone, every one of you, would be paying more on taxes on your Social Security,” Biden said. “The average senior would have to pay $460 a year more in taxes for their Social Security. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s … while these guys are … hemorrhaging tax cuts for the super wealthy.”