Texas Governor Rick Perry told a crowd in Iowa on Saturday that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and a "monstrous lie" for younger people.
Perry, who has jumped out to lead the pack of contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, "rode into Iowa on Saturday with tough talk on President Obama, the economy and foreign policy," according to The Houston Chronicle.
"If you're for the status quo in America, I'm not your guy," Perry told a large crowd at The Vine Coffeehouse in Ottumwa, Iowa. A woman later asked Perry about Social Security.
"It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people," Perry said in his response. "The idea that they're working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them."
According to the Chronicle, Perry said that he wasn't proposing changing the program for those people already drawing on Social Security, or those approaching eligibility. He called for a conversation about raising the eligibility age in the future, and means testing.
"Does Warren Buffett need to get Social Security? Maybe not," he said.
Perry plans to visit other primary states over Labor Day weekend.
According to CBS News, Perry previously called Social Security a Ponzi scheme in his recent book "Fed Up!" He also wrote that the program was created "at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government." A Perry campaign spokesman's recent statements had been seen as putting some distance between Perry and the assertions he made in "Fed Up!" But Perry told a reporter on Saturday that he wasn't backing off.
"I haven't backed off anything in my book," he said, according to the Chronicle. "So read the book again and get it right."
Since jumping into the race on the same day as the Iowa Straw Poll, Perry has shaken up the Republican field. Gallup's latest poll showed Perry leading the pack, with 29 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide telling Gallup they are most likely to support him. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who had led Gallup's previous polls, came in second with 17 percent.