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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Romney could attack Perry over Social Security in Florida



Mitt Romney has seen his lead erased by Rick Perry and can no longer afford to be complacent about it, so he's carefully wading into attack mode. "I am a conservative businessman.  I have spent most of my life outside of politics, dealing with real problems in the real economy.  Career politicians got us into this mess and they simply don't know how to get us out," he said during a speech today in San Antonio.

But the Romney campaign is preparing a more aggressive attack in Florida based on Perry's condemnations of Social Security. A campaign official previewed the plan for Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen.

If Perry fails to implode and continues to surge in the polls, Romney eventually will have to go on the attack — an assault his advisers say will commence “at a time of our choosing.” Romney strategists are quick to note that in his book, “Fed Up!,” Perry writes that “By any measure, Social Security is a failure” and calls the program “something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now” that was created “at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government.”

Look at what happened to Paul Ryan when he proposed a plan to save Medicare, they say. Romney’s campaign will argue that Perry is against the very idea of Social Security and Medicare, and that he will use Perry’s book to scare seniors in early-primary states with large retiree populations, such as Florida and South Carolina.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 11:41am]


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