POLITICS
08/14/2015 12:13 pm ET

Jeb Bush Doesn't Support Privatizing Social Security, But Wants To Cut It In Other Ways

He maintained that his brother's efforts were a good idea at the time, though.

Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said on Friday that he does not want to privatize Social Security the way his brother unsuccessfully attempted to do in 2005, but does support raising the retirement age.

Asked why he supported former President George W. Bush's efforts to privatize Social Security, the candidate flatly said that he didn't.

"It would have made sense back then, now we're way beyond that," Bush said during a Q&A session at the Iowa State Fair on Friday. "What we need to do is reform Social Security to preserve it and protect it for those that already have it and reform it in the logical ways where there's broad bipartisan consensus, which is to, over an extended period of time, raise the retirement age and raise the income cap limit. You can solve Social Security that way."

Bush has previously expressed interest in raising the age for Social Security eligibility to 68 or 70 -- something for which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, has pounced on him. The former Florida governor has also expressed an openness to "means-testing," which would reduce benefits for high-income seniors.

Critics say such an approach would lead to poor retirement planning and discourage people from working past the age when they are eligible for benefits.

In June, Bush said his brother had failed at reforming Social Security and that the next president would have to "try again," though it was unclear what exactly he meant by that.

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