(PENSACOLA, FLA.) - Sarah Palin told a massive crowd in this Florida panhandle city that senior citizens need not worry about what will happen to their Social Security benefits in a John McCain administration.
"Beware that no presidential cycle is complete without the Democratic candidate coming down here to Florida to stir up fear and panic on this issue," Palin said.
"And if you expected any better from the guy who promised to get rid of the old-style politics, you're in for a disappointment because Barack Obama has exploited this issue the way that just too many other issues are being exploited. So let there be no misunderstanding, John McCain has always kept his promises to America, and as president, he will keep America's promise to our senior citizens."
Though she did issue what has become a standard line of attack against Obama for his relationship with 1960s radical Bill Ayers, Palin devoted more time than she has at other recent public appearances to discussing the issues facing the country, such as health care reform.
"We'll also make health care more accessible and affordable," Palin said.
"Now what Barack Obama is saying is that his health care plan puts expensive mandates on small businesses and will drive up unemployment and layoffs at a time when middle-class Americans are already hurting."
Palin said that the McCain health care plan would give middle-class families a $5,000 tax credit.
"Barack Obama is calling that a tax," Palin said. "It's not a tax. It's changing health care for the better. It's putting it on your side."
Obama campaign spokesperson Hari Sevugan issued a quick response to Palin's comments on health care: "Sarah Palin's promises that John McCain will protect our commitment to our seniors don't ring true after his campaign promised to slash Medicare and Medicaid by $1.3 trillion and admitted that he has 'made no specific social security reform proposal,'" he wrote in an email message sent to reporters. "The truth is that John McCain will tax health care benefits for the first time in history and risk our retirement security on the whims of the stock market. Lying to seniors is not reform, and it's not the change we need."