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Statement by AARP’s John Hishta on Presidential Debate: Presidential Candidates and Moderators Leave Voters Guessing on Social Security

Media Contacts:
AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560,, @AARPMedia

WASHINGTON, DC — “Opinions on who won Sunday night’s Presidential debate will vary but who lost is clear: the millions of American voters who want to understand how the candidates would keep Social Security strong for future generations,” AARP Senior Vice President, Campaigns, John Hishta said.

“The debate was the best chance for voters to get real answers on how the Presidential candidates would address Social Security’s significant financial challenges,” Hishta said.

“Failing to ask a question about how to fix Social Security disregarded thousands of voters who contacted the debate moderators via social media to urge them to ask the candidates how they’ll lead on Social Security.  We will now turn our attention to pressing Fox’s Chris Wallace to answer voters’ call for the answers they deserve before Election Day,” he said.

Social Security faces a significant revenue shortfall that, while still a number of years away, would result in a nearly 25 percent, across-the-board benefits cut for all Social Security recipients if left unaddressed. Despite recent polling in support of more focus on the issue, it has been largely ignored in this election.  A battleground AARP survey of Boomer women found 71 percent want the next president and congress to address Social Security immediately and more than two-thirds have heard nothing about the candidates’ plans, AARP said. 

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About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit or follow @aarp and our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.  

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