POLITICS

Rick Perry Social Security Comments Criticized By Florida Republicans

09/21/2011 04:05 pm ET | Updated Nov 21, 2011

Texas Governor Rick Perry is facing fire from Florida Republicans for proposing Social Security be transformed from a national program to one that's run on the state level.

Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) contended that Perry's plan would seriously hurt retirees.

"Would states like Florida have to choose between honoring our promises to seniors and paying for education and public safety?" he asked.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's campaign sent Mack's comments, and three other statements by Florida elected officials, in an email to supporters just days ahead of Florida's GOP straw poll.

"Social Security is a contract the American people have made with the federal government,” said Rep. Tom Rooney . “The federal government needs to honor this contract.”

Republicans have piled on Perry for his criticism of Social Security. Romney attacked Perry's characterization of the program as a "Ponzi scheme" during a recent debate, calling the label "unnecessary and frightening." The next day, Michele Bachmann told The Des Moines Register that "people, I think, rightly have a genuine concern about the governor’s commitment to Social Security benefits for current retirees."

Romney doubled-down on his attacks on Perry during a Miami town meeting on Wednesday.

The New York Times reports that Romney showed attendees a presentation entitled, "Six Questions to Ask Rick Perry About His Social Security Proposal.”

“People move and they go from state to state to state,” Romney said. “How would you deal with people moving all over the place?”

Perry's spokesman shot back that Romney was "sounding like a Democrat, distorting the truth and trying to scare senior citizens."

Watch Romney and Perry spar over Social Security during the Reagan Library debate:

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