Washington, Sept 13: Texas Governor Rick Perry's stringent criticism of the US pension system sparked off a war of words among 2012 Republican White House candidates during a television show.
Perry had described social security as a `Ponzi scheme' and a `monstrous lie' in last week''s television show.
Romney attacked Perry over social security, asking whether Perry still believed the scheme was unconstitutional during the evening''s fifth debate, which was hosted by CNN.
Romney also cast doubt about Perry''s economic role as Texas governor, saying he was merely lucky, BBC reports.
"If you''re dealt four aces, that doesn''t make you, necessarily, a great poker player," Romney said.
Perry countered Romney's criticism by saying that he had described Social Security''s finances `criminal' in his book `No Apology'.
The two rivals accused each other of "trying to scare seniors" with their rhetoric on entitlement.
Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich jumped into the fray saying that he was not worried about Romney and Perry frightening seniors "when President Obama scares them every day".
Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann said Perry's scheme to vaccinate schoolgirls against a sexually transmitted infection, HPV, was "flat-out wrong".
Perry was booed over his policy of allowing Texas illegal immigrants to conduct tuitions.
Santorum attacked Paul over an `irresponsible' blog post, which said that US foreign policy made it unpopular in the Islamic nations.
The next debate will take place on September 22 in Florida, ahead of the Florida Straw Poll. (ANI)