By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Republican candidate Linda McMahon says she hasn't offered specifics throughout Connecticut's Senate race for changing Social Security and Medicare because she would be "demagogued" for her ideas.
Senior citizens issues have been a key point of contention in the close race to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent. McMahon and Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy are running to replace him.
Asked Thursday during her fourth and final debate with Murphy what she would do to shore up the two benefits, McMahon said "there are several things to think about" but that she has purposely "not offered specifics when I'm on the campaign trail because I'd get demagogued."
McMahon told reporters after the debate that the media are the ones doing the damagoguing of Medicare and Social Security.
"Thanks to all you all folks in the media, you're the ones who primarily do it and bash any suggestions that might be made to improve either Social Security, Medicare," she said.
Murphy pounced on McMahon's "demagoguing" comment, accusing the former wrestling executive of admitting she doesn't want to risk votes by offering up specific ideas to the voters.
"You have an obligation as a candidate to tell people where you stand, even if that wins you some votes and loses you other votes," he told reporters after the debate. "I thought it was great that Linda McMahon finally admitted that the reason that she's not telling her positions on issues that she's worried that people will vote against her."
A new University of Connecticut/Hartford Courant Poll released Thursday shows Murphy has a slight lead over McMahon, with 44 percent of likely voters supporting Murphy, compared to 38 percent who back McMahon. Seventeen percent said they are undecided. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Follow Associated Press writer Susan Haigh on Twitter at (at)SusanHaighAP
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.