Clinton calls for boosting Social Security benefits for poor

Hillary Clinton called for boosting Social Security benefits for poor widows and single women in the Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night, moving away from her 2008 campaign stance and toward the positions espoused by her liberal challengers.

"I want to enhance the benefits for the poorest recipients of Social Security," Clinton said. "We have a lot of women on Social Security, particularly widowed and single women who didn't make a lot of money during their careers, and they are impoverished, and they need more help from the Social Security system."

During the 2008 campaign, Clinton favored a commission on reforming Social Security, a proposal viewed warily by many liberal activists who fear that such a commission would be used to lessen benefits.

This year, however, Clinton has faced pressure from liberals who want a more robust defense of Social Security's retirement and disability programs. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a congressional favorite of the party's left wing, has pushed candidates to embrace expanding Social Security, rather than reducing its benefits as President Obama countenanced at times during his presidency as part of negotiations with Republicans.

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