Candidates get confrontational on Social Security, Medicare

Eric Pfeiffer
The Ticket

The first presidential debate took a more confrontational tone as questions shifted from general comments on the economy to the future of Social Security and Medicare.

"Social Security is structurally sound," President Barack Obama said.

On entitlements, Obama also took a veiled shot at Mitt Romney's criticism of the 47 percent of Americans the GOP nominee says do not pay federal income taxes. "The name itself implies some sense of dependency on the part of these folks. These are folks who have worked hard," Obama said, "and there are millions of people out there who are counting on this."

Romney was quick to fire back with his own pointed comments. Responding to Obama's accusation that Romney's economic plan would send jobs overseas, Romney said,"I've been in this business for 25 years and I have no idea what you're talking about. Maybe I need to get a new accountant ... the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case."

Romney then moved on to Medicare, saying Obamacare would adversely affect senior citizens. "We also have 50 percent of doctors who say they won't take more Medicare patients," Romney said. "I can't understand how you can cut Medicare $716 billion dollars for current recipients of Medicare."

"First of all, I think it's important for Governor Romney to present this plan that he says will only affect folks in the future. And the essence of the plan is that you would turn Medicare into a voucher program," Obama countered. "If you're 54 or 55, you might want to listen, because this will affect you."

And Obama closed his turn with a favorite one-liner. "I have become fond of this term, 'Obamacare,'" he said.