Jul 30, 2014
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Raise the Retirement Age for Social Security?

One candidate for NH's 1st Congressional District tells forum, 'It should be on the table.'

Raise the Retirement Age for Social Security?

U.S. Rep. , R-NH, sparred with Democratic challenger during a forum in Exeter Tuesday that became more of a one-on-one debate between the pair.

At one point, the 1st District candidates were asked to give a "yes" or "no" answer to whether the retirement age to receive Social Security benefits shold be raised.

Shea-Porter said, "No," while Guinta said, "It should be on the table."

Shea-Porter pressed Guinta for a "Yes" or "No," but Guinta repeated his response.

Tuesday's forum was held in front of about 200 senior citizens at the senior community. All four candidates attended, though the bickering between Shea-Porter and Guinta took center stage.

Guinta is up against former commercial fisherman/marine engineer , of Wolfeboro, and registered nurse , of Dover, in .

On the Democratic side, Shea-Porter is running unopposed. Guinta beat Shea-Porter to take her congressional seat in 2010.

Shea-Porter went on the offensive early, claiming Guinta has been part of a "do-nothing" Congress that has pursued harmful cuts to the federal budget.

Guinta tried to avoid direct attacks on Shea-Porter, instead focusing on his work in Congress over the last two years. He said he helped House lawmakers pass dozens of bi-partisan bills aimed at spurring job growth.

"I work with people on both sides of the aisle," Guinta said.

The pair argued over the merits of President Obama's health care law, which Guinta has tried to repeal and Shea-Porter said has reduced waste and provided health insurance to millions of people who would not have had access to it.

A recent University of New Hampshire survey showed Guinta has more name recognition and resources than his two challengers combined heading into the primary on Sept. 11.

Parent said the country needs to reform entitlement programs, and said he never would have voted to raise the country's debt ceiling a few months ago.

Clough said, if elected, he would hold town hall-style forums with his constituents after every major vote.

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