Published Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010 | 2:19 p.m.
Updated Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010 | 6:57 p.m.
Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle chalks up her shift -- some say flip-flop -- on Social Security to gathering more information.
Angle said today during the opening of her North Las Vegas headquarters that she never wanted to privatize Social Security. Instead, she said, she wants to "personalize" it.
But during a debate in May on the public affairs show “Face to Face With Jon Ralston,” Angle said, “We need to phase Medicare and Social Security out in favor of something privatized.”
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has assailed his opponent for the comment. He opposes Social Security privatization.
President George W. Bush also tried to privatize a portion of the Social Security program in 2005. The move was defeated, and Republicans saw their popularity plummet.
"When I said privatize, I thought we'd have to go to the private sector for a model" that would protect people's money, Angle said today.
Angle said she now has learned that some public employees -- she named Reid -- have retirement accounts that also are safe from government intervention. Hence, she changed her verbiage, she explained.
"Before her D.C. handlers put a muzzle on her, Sharron Angle spent her entire political career loudly and proudly denouncing Social Security and promising to dismantle the program entirely," Reid spokesman Kelly Steele responded. "At this point, she must believe that Nevada voters...are ignorant or they have amnesia."
Earlier in the day, Angle released a television ad in which she accuses Reid of raiding the Social Security fund for "his own pet projects."