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Biden Brings Presidential Campaign Back To S. Fla.

COCONUT CREEK (CBSMiami) — Vice President Joe Biden returned to South Florida once again to stress economic issues and the future of federal retirement programs.

Biden delivered remarks to about 400 seniors at Wynmoor Village in Coconut Creek

Biden spoke about helping the middle class reclaim economic security and efforts to strengthen Medicare and other programs for the aged.

Biden told the crowd, "if Republicans get their hands on the White House, they will end Medicare as we know it."

The Vice President highlighted the Administration's efforts to strengthen Medicare and other critical programs, drawing a contrast with Republican candidates who support the GOP budget proposal that would turn Medicare into a voucher program forcing seniors to pay thousands more a year for their health care in order to give massive tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.

"There's no question that the aging of the Baby Boomers puts new pressures on Medicare and Social Security.  With the number of seniors doubling by 2040, the question is: are we going to strengthen and sustain these programs, now and for the future?  Or will we use these challenges as a pretense to do what many have been trying to do since the beginning:  dismantle them?" Biden said.

Biden said he and President Barack Obama are committed to strengthening Medicare and Social Security.

He said the GOP supports a plan dubbed, "cut, cap, and balance."

"Of course nobody knows what it means, so let's cut through it and say it in plain English, the cut is cutting Social Security. The cap is putting a cap on what we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay in taxes. And the balance is balancing the budget on the backs of seniors and middle class Americans."

"Folks, it's simple math, either you preserve Medicare and draw down the deficit, or preserve tax cuts for the wealthy, you can't do both things."

Biden's message hit home with many of the over 55 spectators.

"Nobody's been talking about Medicare and Social Security and he got to it," said Karen Miller.

Republicans argue Medicare will run out of money in 12 years unless drastic changes are made to the system.

But Biden countered saying Medicare could be saved if the Republicans finally drop their dogmatic resistance to raising taxes on the wealthy.

'Who do you believe is going to continue to preserve your dignity," Biden said.

The event was the second in a series of remarks that Biden will deliver int he coming weeks about the economy and the middle class that will frame the issues that will be at the core of the general election in November.

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