In Florida, Pawlenty calls for entitlement reform

Published 3:27 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2011

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is calling for fundamental changes in Social Security and other entitlement programs during a visit to senior-rich Florida.

The former Minnesota governor said Tuesday that entitlement programs are not sustainable.

Pawlenty says if elected he would push to gradually raise the retirement age for Social Security and phase out cost-of-living increases for wealthier Social Security recipients.

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Pawlenty said current retirees or those close to retiring wouldn’t be affected.

The White House hopeful is billing himself as the candidate who will be blunt with voters about solutions to major issues.

Pawlenty won praise from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Twitter after a speech in Iowa corn country advocating a phase-out of the ethanol subsidy. Bush’s tweet said he admired Pawlenty’s truth-telling.