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AARP: You've Earned a Say in VP Debate in Kentucky

PHOTO: As the vice presidential candidates get set to square off in Kentucky in their only televised debate, seniors are hoping to hear about issues that ultimately matter to all generations; Social Security and Medicare.
PHOTO: As the vice presidential candidates get set to square off in Kentucky in their only televised debate, seniors are hoping to hear about issues that ultimately matter to all generations; Social Security and Medicare.
October 11, 2012

DANVILLE, Ky. - As the eyes of the nation turn to Kentucky tonight to watch the only televised vice presidential debate, seniors are hoping Social Security and Medicare play a central role in the discussion.

Charlotte Whitaker, a member of the AARP Kentucky Executive Council, says too much is riding on both programs not to elevate the discussion.

"This is huge, especially for Kentucky. We have to hear from these candidates exactly what their plans are, and we have not heard this yet."

Some think Vice President Joe Biden may go on the offensive in the exchange, considering the mixed reviews President Obama got in the presidential debate, and that may lead to pointed talk on what the Republican hopefuls have in mind for the programs.

By ignoring issues such as Medicare and Social Security in these debates, says AARP state president James Kimbrough, the candidates are turning their backs on a huge number of voters.

"Our 37 million members across the country – and we've got 460,000 in Kentucky – we're pretty well focused on hearing the candidates talk about what they see as important in American politics and American issues."

Whitaker says the perception that Social Security and Medicare are issues important only to seniors is a misreading of the big picture.

"We want to know what's down the road for us, but as well, we want to know what's for our children and our grandchildren. We have a son, 42, and what will there be for him in a few years when he chooses to retire?"

The vice presidential debate is to begin at 9 p.m. EDT on the campus of Centre College in Danville, and will be carried live by major television networks. AARP is a sponsor of the debates and has held a number of informational events on the Centre College campus in recent weeks.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - KY