Obama offered some principles to strengthen Social Security in his 2011 State of the Union address.
"We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable or people with disabilities, without slashing benefits for future generations and without subjecting Americans' guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market," Obama said in the speech.
Last week, Vice President Joe Biden made a more sweeping guarantee during a campaign swing in southern Virginia, telling a customer at a diner that Social Security will not be changed.
"I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security," Biden told the customer, according to a White House pool report. "I flat guarantee you."
A Biden adviser said later the vice president was merely reassuring the woman that her benefits would not be changed. The adviser spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher said the president "has put forward a set of principles to guide bipartisan action to strengthen it for future generations. Rather than laying the groundwork for a bipartisan approach as the president has done, Mitt Romney's only solution would mean deep benefit cuts for future retirees. His running mate, Paul Ryan was an architect of privatization."
Romney's campaign chided Obama's inaction.
"His failure to lead on entitlements has put the future of Social Security at risk," said Williams, the Romney spokesman. "Mitt Romney is committed to ensuring that Social Security is there for future generations and he has a comprehensive plan to save Social Security with commonsense reforms."
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