Sep 9, 2011 5:00 PM by Gene Cotton
WASHINGTON (AP) - Social Security has become a major divide in the contest between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.
The votes of seniors - in aging Iowa, the retiree haven of Florida and elsewhere - could be at stake.
Perry isn't backing down from calling the safety-net program a "Ponzi scheme." Romney is defending Social Security, and arguing that the GOP shouldn't choose a nominee who demonizes a program so many Americans depend on.
Romney wants to expose Perry's vulnerability on the program that seniors hold dear and Democrats hold sacrosanct. And he's trying to reclaim the front-runner mantle from Perry, who entered the race just last month.
9 hours ago