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AARP Statement on Today’s Republican Presidential Debate

DES MOINES, IA - AARP Director of Media Relations Mark Kitchens made the following statement about today’s debate:

“This is the 20th debate that AARP has tracked this year and today’s debate finally showed us something different from the previous 19. The candidates demanded the opportunity to give more substantive answers, something that is sorely needed when it comes to the issues discussed today.

Overall, these debates have failed to serve as a forum that focuses on what people are talking about everyday. While our latest poll of our members released this week reveals that Republicans in Iowa are more concerned about financial security issues than they were in August, this concern was briefly discussed today.

These issues, as well as the meteoric rise of health care costs, are of utmost concern to those across the nation. Today, the head of the Congressional Budget office, Peter Orzag, reminded us again in the Wall Street Journal about the importance of getting health care costs under control for our nation’s long term fiscal outlook. Considering this, it is unfortunate health care was not a more significant part of today’s discussion.

These issues are too important to ignore. Most AARP members in Iowa are still undecided about which candidates they will support and a lack of discussion about the domestic issues they are most concerned about – health and financial security – won’t get them any closer to a decision.”

Divided We Fail and AARP are monitoring the number of health and financial security questions asked during the Presidential debates. For more information about Divided We Fail and the debate, log onto the Divided We Fail debate tracker at

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If you are an AARP member and not with the press, call 1-888-OUR-AARP or email


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