Just minutes into CNN's Tea Party Republican presidential debate Monday night, frontrunners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney sparred over Perry's recent assertion that Social Security is unconstitutional and is a "Ponzi scheme."
Romney, who stated that tens of millions of people have relied on the entitlement for over 70 years, asked Perry, "Do you still believe that Social Security should be ended as a federal program?"
"It's time for us to get back to the constitution," Perry replied, adding that after 70-plus years he did not believe Social Security would be outright abolished.
"We ought to have a conversation," he added.
"We're having that right now," Romney said. "You're running for president."
Perry, who said the program is "broken" stated that he wasn't the first to refer to Social Security a Ponzi scheme.
Romney pressed that "the term Ponzi scheme is what scared seniors" in the first place, and that it was "over the top, unnecessary and frightening to many people."
Watch the two exchange blows below:
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