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VIDEO: Protestors At Florida Tea Party Debate Defend Social Security Against GOP Attacks

ThinkProgress filed this report from the Republican debate in Tampa, Florida.

Before yesterday’s Republican presidential debate began, 75 to 100 Floridians gathered outside to protest the Tea Party’s goals and defend Social Security against constant GOP attacks.

Ever since Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) entered the race last month, dismantling Social Security has been a central topic of debate among Republican presidential hopefuls. Perry has not been shy about calling the popular retirement program a “Ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie.” In his own book, published 10 months ago, Perry even called Social Security unconstitutional.

ThinkProgress spoke with a number of Floridians about these attacks on Social Security. We also asked how they thought Republicans’ plan for the retirement program would be received in the Sunshine State. Watch a compilation video of their responses here:

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Though GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his staff have forcefully attacked Perry for wanting to abolish the treasured retirement program, it’s worth noting that the former Massachusetts governor’s support for privatizing Social Security is not much better. Protestors understood the threat, however, and implored Republicans not to cut or privatize Social Security but rather help keep it solvent by lifting the payroll tax cap.