ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: At a Saturday town hall in Des Moines, Iowa, Senator Obama accused Senator Clinton of "ducking" on Social Security.
The town hall began with an introduction by Todd Bowman, a voter who posed a Social Security question to Senator Clinton earlier this month.
"She gave me a conflicted response and made me wonder if a candidate won’t answer a question on the campaign trail, how can we be sure she’ll be honest with the American people when she’ll be president?" Bowman, an Obama supporter, said.
Obama was quick to highlight Bowman’s story, saying, "When Senator Clinton was asked about it, she wouldn’t say what she thought needed to be done… I reject that notion… A candidate for president owes it to the American people to tell us where they stand."
Obama’s plan would eliminate income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 a year.
"But if we’re serious about making retirement security a reality, then tax breaks aren’t enough. We also have an obligation to protect Social Security and ensure that it’s a safety net the American people can count on today, tomorrow and forever," he said. "The underlying system is sound. The actual problem is a projected cash shortfall that can be readily solved."
"Conventional thinking in Washington says Social Security is the third rail of American politics. It says you should hedge, and dodge, and spin, but at all costs, don’t answer," Obama said.
Obama opposes both privatization and raising the retirement age. His plan would raise Social Security taxes on wealthy Americans and stop the government from dipping into the Social Security trust fund.
"But the fact is, we will not be able to solve this problem and protect Social Security once and for all until we stop treating it like a political football and start treating it like the national treasure that it is," he said.