Perry Slams Rove as 'Over the Top' in Heated Social Security Debate

Wednesday, 07 Sep 2011 09:32 PM

By David A. Patten

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry lashed out Wednesday at former Bush adviser and Fox News commentator Karl Rove, charging he has been “over the top” in his remarks lately.

Rove invited Perry’s wrath when he criticized a passage in Perry’s book, Fed Up!, in which the Texas governor describes Social Security as an “illegal Ponzi scheme.” Rove, once dubbed “the architect” for managing the re-election of former President George W. Bush, said that type of rhetoric could be “toxic” for Republicans in a general election campaign.

“You know, Karl has been over the top for a long time in some of his remarks,” Perry said of Rove, who once was an adviser to him as well. “So I’m not responsible for Karl anymore.”

Reminded that former Vice President Dick Cheney also told ABC News that Social Security “is a program that a great many people depend on,” Perry insisted that he stands by every word he wrote about the program.

“If Vice President Cheney or anyone else says that the program that we have in place today, and young people who are paying into that expect that program to be sound, and for them to received benefits when they reach retirement age, that is just a lie,” Perry said. “And I don’t care what anyone says. We know that, the American people know that, and more importantly those 25 and 30-year-olds know that.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney weighed in as well on the controversial issue, telling Perry: “The issue in the book Fed Up! governor is you say by any measure social security is a failure.

“You can’t say that to tens of millions of Americans who live on social security, and those who have lived on it. The governor says look, states ought to be able to opt out of social security. Our nominee has to be someone who isn’t committed to abolishing social security, but is committed to saving social security. We have always had at the heart of our party a recognition that we want to care for those in need. And our seniors have the need of social security.”




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